Melbourne’s sustainable bars

So you’ve got your car boot full of tote bags, but what can you do besides taking re-usable bags to the supermarket? How about having drinks at bars that don’t use plastic straws? Some are going even greener, with initiatives like wine from kegs rather than bottles, and coasters instead of serviettes. Show them you care!

A neon sign in a bar that says no straws

The Carlton Hotel is one of many Melbourne bars going plastic straw free

Saying no to plastic straws

Plastic straws suck. Setting aside the resources needed to create them, they are only used once before ending up in landfill. Thousands are used each day in Australia alone, and while they eventually break down they never completely biodegrade. If straws don’t make it to landfill, they can end up polluting waterways, injuring or killing animals.

These Melbourne bars are doing something about the problem by ditching straws, or using alternatives to single-use plastic ones:

  • Gin Palace and Bar Ampere use biodegradable straws. They are given to their eco-warrior florist, Joost Bakker, who turns them into compost.
  • Bar Americano has been plastic-straw-free since opening in 2011.
  • Conservation groups including Sea Shepherd hold events at Loop Project Space & Bar, so they’re walking the talk by banishing plastic straws.
  • Arlechin has been plastic-straw-free since opening in 2017.
  • Double HappinessLily Blacks and New Gold Mountain have phased out plastic straws and serve drinks with metal or biodegradable options instead.
  • Romeo Lane and Vamos Melbourne use metal straws.
  • The Carlton Hotel will no longer serve drinks with straws once their stock’s exhausted. Bar staff are using metal straws to taste-test cocktails.
  • Goldilocks and Whitehart are also plastic-straw-free.
  • Mesa Verde in Curtin House not only offer metal straws with their cocktails, but much of their garnishes and herbs are grown right on their very own rooftop garden!

Double Happiness

Other ways to make a difference

The Carlton Hotel isn’t just saying no to straws. They’ve replaced the cling film on spirit-bottle pourers with more durable plastic tubes, and are looking into composting kitchen waste.

Romeo Lane is also going further by using coasters rather than serviettes, and hand towels and cloth napkins rather than paper towels. They have a soda water tap to reduce bottle waste, and are really into recycling and using eco products. The loo even gets refilled with water from hand washing instead of precious drinking water.

A plate of cheese and pears and some cocktails on a table

Romeo Lane

The Lincoln is installing wine dispensing taps so they can pour house drops directly from refillable kegs rather than single-use bottles. House wine is their biggest seller, so that’s a lot of bottles that never have to be manufactured, transported and recycled.

The ReWine stall at Queen Victoria Market saves on bottles and also saves you money. Buy a bottle of wine – perhaps a McLaren Vale sparkling shiraz or Yarra Valley pinot gris – and bring it back for refilling. Over and over, all you pay for is the wine. They even do dessert and fortified wines at their winter night market stalls – sweet!

A crowd of people standing and chatting under a neon sign in a night market

ReWine at the Winter Night Market offers mulled wine in reusable plastic cups

Please drink responsibly (sustainably).