As someone who has increasingly become more environmentally conscious over the past 2 years, I have been on a mission to incorporate certain habits into my lifestyle that have a low or no negative impact on the environment. If you were to ask me about a simple step that we could all take towards living a lower impact lifestyle, the first one that would immediately cross my mind is to stop using plastic straws. I personally think that these are a great example of plastic items with a global major environmental impact and that, honestly, anyone can easily give up. With this in mind, I have gathered in this blog post 5 reasons why you should say no plastic straws.
- For something that has an incredibly short lifespan (i.e. an average of 20 minutes to be precise), plastic straws have a shockingly big impact on the environment and last for a lifetime. They do not biodegrade and they can’t be actually recycled. Due to their small size and light weight, plastic straws end up by falling through the cracks of the conveyer belt of the recycling facilities. Thus, I find it such a waste to use a plastic item for a few minutes that takes hundreds of years to fully decompose.
- Plastic straws are made of a by-product of petroleum (i.e. polypropylene), whose processes of extraction and refining require a large amount of energy and natural resources.
- Plastic straws are one of the most insidious polluters. Since plastic is a material that does not decompose, straws made of it break down into tiny pieces polluting our oceans and littering our beaches and cities.
- Plastic straws also wind up harming marine wildlife. They can be life-threatening to animals, such as seabirds, fish, sea turtles (currently in extinction), because may entangle them or being accidentally ingested
- The use of plastic straws is absolutely unnecessary and therefore, I find it so shocking that an average of 5 million plastic straws are used every single day in the United States alone. I just can’t wrap my head around this when there are several sustainable alternatives (e.g. glass, metal, bamboo and recycled paper straws) that do the same, if not even a better, job.
If you are still using plastic straws please know that you can start making a difference on the environment and beautiful Planet today. All you need to do is is to ditch them and swap to a greener straw alternative. As Ghandi once wisely said: You must be the change you wish to see in the world. So be it.