Did you know that, according to statistics*, Americans alone use and discard 500 million plastic straws a day! That’s enough to fill over 125 school buses with straws. Over a year, that’s 46,400 school buses a year! And that’s just America! Consider their use worldwide and that’s a whole lot of plastic we have building up in our oceans all the time.
We know that plastic doesn’t biodegrade, and that it can get into the food chain, as well as damage marine life. To give you an idea of the size of the problem, plastics get swept up by slow moving currents into massive garbage sites known as gyres. Straws are one of the top 10 debris items. The North Pacific gyre is a big as Texas, and is estimated to contain 3.5 million tons of trash.
So let’s make an effort to reduce, maybe even eradicate, the use of plastic straws. They are far from essential. Bamboo straws are a particularly eco-friendly alternative as are paper ones. For greater durability and re-use you can also buy stainless steel, titanium and glass straws (although admittedly the glass straws are probably a less safe option for small children). The metal straws make the drink so much colder, and it’s almost like a surprise the first time you take a sip from one! Encourage your local cafés, schools etc to do the same. Come on, it’s so easy and you’ll be preserving the planet for future generations.
* NPS Commercial Services