2.3 million plastic straws will be saved annually as Sydney Opera House and Opera Bar join #sydneydoesntsuck!




In July 2018 ABC’s War on Waste highlighted that 10 million straws are used by Australians each day -  a whopping 3.6 billion straws annually.  People everywhere were alarmed by these numbers and The City of Sydney Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Miller began working with bars and venues like the Sydney Opera House and us (Opera Bar) to ditch single-use plastic straws across Sydney as part of the #SydneyDoesntSuck campaign. 


To help fight the war on waste, we committed to ditching plastic straws, saving 1.1 million straws each year. 


“There are few places in the world better to have a drink than at Opera Bar, over-looking Sydney Harbour – it’s iconic and quintessentially Australian. When Opera Bar goes completely plastic straw free, we will be saving 1.3 million straws from appearing in landfill per year." Matt Moran.


Some like to drink their cocktails with a straw so we offer an alternative to plastic straws for those, wheat straws. Belive it or not wheat straws were actually the original drinking straw of the 1800s. Farmers would grow the wheat, harvest the grain, then use the leftover stem to sip their hard-earned beer.


As for the production of these straws well, wheat stems are actually considered an agricultural waste product, once the grain is harvested the base of the wheat plant is usually left behind and burnt, so we are turning this waste into a resource. A truly circular solution!


The wheat stems are collected, stripped, washed in boiling water to sterilise and then cooked in the oven until a gorgeous golden colour, Because there are no chemicals used each straw is a slightly different colour, and because they're 100% natural each is a slightly different shape. Unique, just like us!


Sydney Opera House Environmental Sustainability Manager, Emma Bombonato felt that "as a symbol of modern Australia it’s our responsibility to lead by example and encourage all of Sydney to support Sydney Doesn’t Suck. The Opera House is one of the only World Heritage buildings to achieve green certification internationally, and we’re passionate about building sustainable thinking into everything we do.


About this initiative

ABC's War on Waste