5 Reasons to Stop Using Plastic Straws

By 2050, there may be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Don’t you want to do something to stop it?

1. Most materials are still toxic

Some plastic straws are still being made with materials that are toxic or carcinogenic. And even if straws are labelled as “BPA-free” they might still contain these toxic chemicals.

2. They are difficult to recycle

Plastic straws are too lightweight for recycling sorters and drop through sorting screens and end up in landfills. (And that’s only if someone bothers putting them in the recycling bin to begin with.)

3. Plastic is not biodegradable

Plastic can remain in the environment for over 2,000 years because (most) plastic is not biodegradable. So that beverage that took you 15 minutes to drink will linger in the environment for generations.

4. Straws usually end up in the ocean

And for several different reasons, straws frequently end up in the ocean because they’re littered on the beach, blown out of trashcans, or washed down storm drains, among other reasons. Studies predict that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight. Because of their small size, aquatic animals can confuse bits of plastic for food and choke on them.

5. Straws are wasteful

Five hundred million straws are used every day. And that’s just in the United States of America. No wonder a hundred thousand sea animals and a million birds die each year due to plastic consumption.

What can we do?

To make a change, it’s as simple as asking to not get a straw with your beverage when you order one. It may not feel like you can save the planet on your own, but little habits like this help raise awareness and your influence can easily spread. One small gesture can have a huge impact. Hopefully you have enough facts now to defend your decision.

Photo by Kawin Harasai and Ryan Everton on Unsplash

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