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Hell in the Shell Ditches Plastic Straws

Greene Turtle switches to paper — on request

      The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille, named in honor of a 110-million-year-old creature, is banning plastic straws to save the turtle. Beginning on World Turtle Day, May 23, the entire empire of 48 East Coast locations is removing straws from its drinks. If you’re drinking at Greene Turtle and want a straw, you’ll get a paper one — on request.
      Affinity for turtles sparked the change at the 42-year-old restaurant chain. The first ever Greene Turtle restaurant was born on the Ocean City beach, so investing in the health and prosperity of the ocean is close to the hearts of its owners. 
       The Greene Turtle is different from other Annapolis restaurants that have made the switch to paper: It has the numerical power of a franchise.
      The impact of all 48 locations ditching the deadly plastic could be the force that shifts this movement into overdrive. 
      “The sheer number of straws was the deciding factor,” says senior marketing director Layla Nielsen. “When we saw how many straws we use throughout our own system, we knew we could make a positive impact.”
      Servers, bartenders and management have worked with a training team to discuss the problems surrounding plastic straws. “If anyone asks why we changed, our team members are equipped with fast facts about plastic endangering marine life,” Nielsen says.
       The franchises’ kinship with sea turtles also motivated executives to raise money for sea turtle research and conservation. Now for every bottle of Naked Turtle Rum purchased by Greene Turtle, $1 is donated to the Sea Turtle Conservancy.
      Greene Turtle’s famous sharable cocktail Hell in the Shell, served in a large replica turtle shell, comes equipped with several straws for multiple drinkers. Hell in the Shell uses paper straws and Naked Turtle Rum, doubling down on sea turtle conservation. 
     In Chesapeake Country, six Greene Turtles — five in Anne Arundel and one in Calvert — have made the move.
–Shelby Conrad