Did you know that in America it is estimated that over 500 million plastic straws are used every day. Yes that’s over 180 billion a year. What are these straws in the main made of? Plastic and we all know that plastic pollutes and in most cases does not degrade.
Where do these plastic straws end up? As trash, polluting our oceans and filling up our landfills. There they will stay for 200 odd years before they crumble. It is said that eventually there will be more plastic in oceans than there is fish. We may feel that our little plastic straws are insignificant but if I had a penny for every one thrown away a day I wouldn’t mind $5 million dollars.
So why do we really need straws? Well we don’t we can just drink from a cup even if its made of paper (which is another pollution problem). The straw is just a bit of convenience a lazy one at that. The straw mainly seems to be related to cold drinks. We wouldn’t drink a cup of hot coffee through a straw now would we. Yes, plastic straws may be relatively small but they are a real problem. But still we use straws without thought of all the needless pollution they cause.
Plastic straws cause great harm to marine creatures. There was a video that came out not so long ago showing a straw being removed from a sea turtles nostril. (That must have been painful). Just think how painful it would be for you if you had a straw stuck up your nose. Minute plastic residue is now found in fish in greater quantities than ever. On your next fish meal figure how much plastic you may be eating. There again the growing amount of plastic going into our oceans is starting to cause high levels of acidification that is starting to kill off marine life. This is happening just because we want to drink out of straws.
Why don’t we recycle plastic straws? Unfortunately they are so insignificant how do you sort them from the rest of the trash. (of course usually along with the paper cup or carton that came with it)
There has been talk about edible straws made out of seaweed. Good idea but may tend to be expensive. What about reusable straws? Maybe you can carry one around in your top pocket with your pens. Problem here they may get a bit tacky if you don’t wash them after use. Best thing, don’t use plastic straws do you really need them, I don’t.