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Gun Lake Casino now using compostable straws made from corn

Gun Lake Casino no longer has plastic straws, as the casino is trying to go completely compostable.

Gun Lake Casino no longer has plastic straws, as the casino is trying to go completely compostable.

They will still have straws, just not plastic.

The straws are made from corn shipped to Michigan from California.

Gun Lake Casino believes it's the first tribal casino in Michigan to do this, and some people in town are loving this effort.

Brian Middlemiss has been recycling out of his Wayland home for ten years and has a number of items he recycles.

"Cereal boxes, milk jugs, probably some laundry, some plastic cups from work,” Middlemiss said.

Recycle bins are all around his neighborhood, and now one of his larger neighbors is reducing its carbon footprint.

Servers at Gun Lake Casino are only giving out straws to people who ask for them. The straws are made of corn and are fully compostable.

"Two [million] to three million straws are no longer going to West Michigan landfills which is, in our minds, a huge, huge win as we look at the Mother Earth," Carter Pavey, assistant general manager of Gun Lake Casino, said.

If you think that number is high, consider that the casino estimates they can see more than three million guests per year with many ordering drinks and using straws.

And while it costs more to buy compostable straws, the casino says the benefits are worth the price.

"It's utilizing the resources you have appropriately and making sure that we set up for children of the future,” Pavey said.

Middlemiss was ecstatic about the new straws.

"That's awesome, can't go wrong it that," Middlemiss said.

He would like to see other businesses use them, too.

"You don't want all the stuff in the landfills,” Middlemiss said. “There's no reason for it if they can recycle it."

The casino has also turned to compostable cup lids that don't require straws. They're looking at all the plastic items they use.

We asked around to see if other area casinos are doing the same, and Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek says they've haven't gotten rid of plastic straws, but they're only handing them out when people ask for them.

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