Plastic Straws - A Big Problem To The Environment

Environmental Issues Non-plastics Plastic Straws Save The Planet Stainless Steel Drinking Straw

 Plastic Straws

The last time you ordered a drink at a coffee shop, cafe or restaurant, did it come with a plastic straw? Just a few years ago, you automatically received a straw with any cold take-out drink like your favorite iced coffee or tea and probably didn’t think twice about it. According to the Trash Free Seas Alliance, the average American uses 1.6 straws a day. In the United States alone, that’s enough to circle the equator two and a half times. An estimated 7.5 percent of plastic in the environment comes from straws and stirrers.

Single-use plastic items such as straw as well as stirrers, bags, and cups are convenient, but convenience can come at an environmental cost if they aren’t disposed of properly or recycled. Straws are one of top five items found in beach cleanup. Plastic has been found in an estimated 90% of all seabirds and in all sea turtle species. Beyond water bottles and straws, the other largest sources of single use plastic are said to be plastic bags, to-go containers and to-go cups. So, it’s really a big issue. As more straws and other plastic pollution gets into our oceans, the result could be  alarming. A recent report by the World Economic Forum projects that by the year 2050, the plastic in our oceans will outweigh the fish. Don’t you think is about time to get rid of all the plastic straws?

More governments and big companies are moving to ban plastic drinking straws, in order to save the environment. Governments and companies are taking this action because of the staggering volume of waste generated by something most people don’t need. Seattle is the latest city to join at least a dozen others across the United States in banning plastic straws, joining individual municipalities in Florida, New Jersey and California which already have straw bans. Starbucks announced they would eliminate all plastic straws by 2020. Other companies, like hotel chains Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt, to air carriers such as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, are also planning to phase out disposable straws.

Do you feel slightly guilty when you add a straw to a cold drink? By refusing a straw, you can help prevent plastic pollution. You can also ask your local coffee shops, cafe or restaurants to provide straws only upon request, or to change to paper or other non-plastic options like reusable stainless steel drinking straws. Imagine the impact if we all gave up the habit of single-use plastics. So say NO to single-use plastic straws and say YES to non-plastic options like reusable stainless steel drinking straws and help change the future of our oceans.

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