You’re going out to a restaurant to eat with your family and friends, and you want a glass of water to go along with your meal. The waiter comes back with your H2O, but you notice there’s also something else inside the glass: a plastic straw. You didn’t ask for the straw, you don’t need it, but the waiter gave one to you anyway. This is a scenario that happens everyday way more times than it should. Plastic straws are not a necessity, yet it’s become such a widespread habit to take everything we drink with this little plastic tube. We’ve become unaware of how much waste and damage these single-use products are responsible for.
Let’s begin with the journey of how straws came to be.
Plastic straws have not only become a very common object, but their impact on the environment has been huge.
Approximately 500 million plastic straws are used every day in the U.S., which translates to over 175 billion per year.
In addition to piling up in landfills, plastic straws are leeching out into our oceans, harming animals that may ingest them by accident.
In Costa Rica, there was a sea turtle whose life was threatened because a plastic straw got stuck inside its nostril.
You start to think to yourself, “Are straws really that necessary?”
While a lot of damage has already been done, there are many things we can still do right now to help alleviate the problem.
When going out to restaurants or cafes, simply tell your waiter, “No straw, please!”
If you’re the type of person who just really enjoys the feeling of sucking up a drink through a straw, there are many eco-friendly alternatives out there. Below are a few examples of reusable straws. Recyclable and compostable straws are also good options.
The possibilities are endless.
Save our beaches, save our animals, not our straws.