Plastic straws are used for minutes, but their negative impacts last for hundreds of years. Have you ever stopped to think about the harm they cause after their minutes of convenience in your drink?
Every day, around 10 million single-use straws are used in Australia and 500 million in the US. What are the consequences of our plastic straw addiction and why do plastic straws really suck?
Single-use plastic straws are harmful to the environment and are frequently found during beach cleanups. According to cleanup organisations, plastic straws are one of the top ten items that are picked up off the beach. Plastic straws are a non-recyclable type of waste and they take hundreds of years to break down, some scientists even claim that they actually never fully break down. They continuously keep on polluting our oceans, landfills, waterways and harming wildlife, affecting both current and future generations.
Here are some facts that hopefully make you think twice about ordering a straw with your upcoming beverages:
- Plastic does not biodegrade like paper or other natural substances. It photodegrades, reducing into smaller and more toxic substances over time, which can pollute the environment.
- It can take a straw over 400 years to break down and they’re the most common debris that divers come across when they swim in the ocean.
- When you think how long a straw can lie around in the environment causing harm, also consider that an average consumer uses it for only a couple of minutes.
- Scientists in Costa Rica came across a sea turtle they thought was struggling and suspected it had a parasitic worm. When a veterinary surgeon investigated, he found a straw lodged in the turtle’s airway.
What you can do
You can help make a change to this single-use plastic pollution problem, also often referred to as our plastic addiction.
The solution is easy - just stop using plastic straws altogether. Do you like drinking through straws? Get yourself a sustainable alternative.
Remember to always say no to plastic straws and specifically order your drinks without a plastic straw. Make sure you always carry your sustainable alternative on the go and use it as a conversation starter to increase the impact it will have. It is that simple.
You are off to a great start once you have a reusable straw, but please don’t stop there as it is a great way to try some other reusable products that will help you break your plastic habit.
Sustainable straw alternatives make great gifts for yourself, friends and family, get some now.