Did you know that 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded in the US every single day? That’s enough to wrap around the entire circumference of the earth 2.5 times, and is a lot of waste that can easily roll, drift, or blow into the environment (on land and in our oceans) and harm wildlife.
A couple of years ago, a video circulated on the Internet of a plastic straw being extracted from a sea turtle’s nose. It is painful to watch, as it should be. Plastic litter is dangerous, disruptive, and unnecessary (go reusable!). Straws, like many cheap plastics, also degrade over time in the environment and break apart into tinier pieces of plastic floating in the ocean.
Plastic straws demand immediate attention, so where do we start? Every individual can take action to slow the influx of single-use plastic straws into the environment - just say no! Bring a reusable straw or forego a straw entirely if you don’t need it. Encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to do the same. Reach out to your favorite restaurants or coffee shops and see if they’ll consider eliminating straws from their drinks (or only offer paper compostable straws upon request). Check out the Strawless Ocean and The Last Plastic Straw campaigns for more motivation and tips to ditch single-use plastic straws!
Image source: Strawless Ocean