The Shocking Truth About Plastic Straws and How to Help Save the Planet
Plastic straws are one of the most commonly used items in the world today. They’re used to sip drinks at restaurants, take away coffees, and enjoy beverages in the home. However, what many people don’t realize is the shocking truth about plastic straws and how they are one of the biggest contributors to the plastic pollution crisis.
In 2018 alone, an estimated 8.3 billion plastic straws were used in the U.S. That’s enough straws to wrap around the earth 2.5 times. The global demand for plastic straws was estimated at over 176 billion in 2018, with the U.S. being the largest consumer. Unfortunately, most plastic straws are used once and then discarded, taking centuries to decompose.
What’s worse is that plastic straws are one of the top 10 most found debris items in beach cleanups around the world. They’re a major source of marine debris, often ending up in the ocean and threatening the lives of marine animals. Single-use plastic straws are among the top-10 items found during ocean clean-up projects in the US, representing 7% of the total plastic marine litter globally.
While plastic straws are small and seemingly insignificant, their cumulative effect on our planet is massive. If we all agree to make an effort to reduce our plastic straw consumption and switch to more sustainable alternatives, we can help protect the planet from further plastic pollution.
Fortunately, there are a few easy steps we can all take to reduce our plastic straw use. The first step is to simply say no to plastic straws and bring your own reusable straws with you when you go out to eat. There’s a wide variety of reusable straws available on the market, made from stainless steel, bamboo, and silicone. You can also opt for biodegradable paper straws or even glass straws.
Another way to help reduce plastic straw use is by supporting restaurants and businesses that have adopted plastic straw-free policies. Letting them know that you appreciate their efforts and that you’re willing to pay a bit extra for an eco-friendly alternative will go a long way in helping them make the switch.
Finally, you can also encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to switch to reusable straws and other sustainable alternatives. Share your knowledge about the plastic pollution crisis and encourage everyone to do their part in helping save the planet.
We all need to take responsibility for the plastic straws we use and how we dispose of them. By making a conscious effort to reduce our use of plastic straws, we can collectively make a huge difference in the fight against plastic pollution.