The Tiny Environment Killer with a Big Impact & How to Ditch It
4 MINUTE READ
If you care about the environment, you know that there’s one extra-offensive phrase in eco-circles: single-use. Anything that’s designed to be used once before it’s disposed of is inherently terrible for the environment, whether it’s a paper coffee cup, a disposable diaper or a paper napkin. However, plastic waste is particularly problematic because 1) 91% of all plastic waste has never been recycled 2) over 40% of plastic is used just ONE time and 3) scientists believe 8.8 MILLION tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year.
There is one single-use plastic item that used to fly under the radar & cause some serious damage to our beautiful planet: straws. In 2018, a statistic revealed that 500 million plastic straws are used every day, for an average of 20 minutes each. Although, small in and of themselves, straws have a huge impact on our planet, especially on marine life. Over time, many people and places have started to take a stance on straws. Some think it’s silly to bother with such a tiny item because there are items like plastic bags and water bottles also filling up our oceans and landfills. However, the fight against straws is just a step in a marathon of fighting plastic pollution. People don’t just wake up and run marathons, they train each day.
Here’s why it’s time to ditch plastic straws:
- Plastic straws are one of the top 10 items picked up as trash on beach cleanup days
- Most are made from polypropylene, a petroleum-based plastic. The evidence here has been presented showing that chemicals from polypropylene can leach into liquids and released compounds that affect estrogen levels.
- They pose a threat to wildlife because their small size makes them easy to ingest (this video is pretty tough to watch but will really make you swear off your plastic straws)
- They’re around forever after their single use
- Plastic straws are a gateway to single-use pollution. By refusing plastic straws, you’re taking step one towards refusing other single-use plastics like bags, cups, lids, etc.
- Like plastic bags, some municipalities are cluing in and banning plastic straws.
This is a video from National Geogrpahic.
But, I love straws.
We know that some people love them or have a serious aversion to germs and feel the need to use a straw, and we also know that some people have to use a straw. Where does this leave you if you want to make a difference?
Luckily, this pesky issue is becoming more common knowledge and your options to replace single-use plastic straws are growing. Not just because of our obvious bias, but we think reusable Silistrawsare pretty rad for many reasons. Our reusable silicone straws are flexible, unbreakable, non-porous, safe for the dishwasher, freezer & microwave. Even better, you won’t chip your teeth. You REALLY only need one Silistraw to start changing the world.
People just keep giving me straws.
We assume you still care about the environment even if you’re on a date, at a coffee shop, or on the eighth state of your cross country road trip. The easiest thing you can do is to say “no” to the straw when you order. Let them know ahead of time that you have your own straw and would not like a plastic one. Pop your reusable one in there and embrace the feel-good knowledge that you’re keeping straws out of the waste stream. Plus, maybe your act will spark a great conversation with someone who doesn’t realize what a huge volume of waste straws represent.
We know that plastic straws are the not the biggest problem that our pollution experts are facing. However, we also know that the transition from single-use plastics to reusability can be daunting. Though, one step at a time is all it takes to kick the habit. Keep the convenience and fun of a straw with virtually indestructible, Earth-friendly silicone straws. Silistraws don’t pose the risks of glass straws, the temperature challenges of metal ones and they’re going to last as long as your Silipints, aka virtually for the rest of your life. Take a pass on environmental destruction, use of scarce natural resources and that sinking, sucking feeling of using a single-use plastic item. Once you’ve started using reusable straws, you’ll find yourself working hard to replace other single-use plastics in your life like cups, bottles, lids, bags, & more.
If you’re ready to go above and beyond saying “no” to straws, take a look at an anti-straw campaign like Straw Wars, Straws Suck, or the Lonely Whale Foundation. From donating to protesting or volunteering there are a lot of different ways you can be involved in making a bigger difference, one straw at a time.
#saynotostraws #strawssuck #2minutebeachcleanup