FROM PLASTIC STRAWS TO STAINLESS STRAWS
Did you know Americans use 500 million straws, every. single. day?!!!!
Are stainless steel straws going to change the world? If we are able to replace a fraction of the single-use straws with stainless steel; we would definitely be making a drastic cut in the plastic that is created on a daily basis.
Freedonia Group is a market research group that has conducted a study around just how many plastic straws, Americans alone, use. The staggering amount was a total of 500 million plastic straws, a day! If we were to connect those straws end to end, it's enough plastic to wrap around the planet 2.5 times! As a reminder; this is every day!
So many people may not be aware of the massive impact straws have on our environment. We see this item almost every day of our lives and they appear harmless enough. What great damage could these little cylindrical plastic things really cause? Rather than using plastic straws, and seeing them as a short-term commodity, why not use stainless steel straws that last in the long-run and are not being thrown out every day?
If everyone were to make this small switch, our planet will thank us!
How Are Plastic Straws Negatively Impacting Our Environment?
Plastic Straws Have a Negative Impact On Our Oceans
Any action, as diminutive as it can be, can cause great impact on anyone or anything. Smiling at someone, as small a gesture as that is, can cause the person being smiled at, to feel a powerful happy reaction and sense. A hug to a crying child can mean the world to them. Lending someone a listening ear during hardship, can bare a great burden off their shoulders. Saving up a dollar a day can earn you $365 by the end of the year; a little more during the leap year! Because people use straws every day, 500 million a day to be exact, for decades upon decades, straws are adding up and negatively impacting our environment, our wildlife and even humans.
Oceans are being polluted daily and with straws making their way there. YouTube has a video of a sea turtle having a straw being removed from his nose as it bleeds in pain. This video alone has touched the hearts of many and woken many up to the reality of destruction humans are causing. The picture below is a representation of the garbage floating on and in the ocean. It is said that size of the garbage in the Pacific Ocean alone is the size of France, German and Spain put together and growing!
Whales have been seen washed up on the shore and marine biologists have uncovered garbage inside them. CNN reported back in April 2018 of a whale that had washed up on a beach in Spain and had 64 pounds of plastic inside the stomach. Fish get swallow plastic straws whole and leaving some to some seabirds to also consume them and have found plastic in their system, while other animals in get stuck or injured by them.
There have been some programs and campaigns in the world trying to help raise awareness and going out to the ocean to clean, such as the Corona x Parley for the Oceans campaign. They gather famous stars to help clean the ocean and speak about the issues oceans are facing. Besides ocean life being hurt by these plastic straws, our favorite resorts are dealing with the problem. Tons and tons of plastic straws (as well as plastic water bottles and plastic bags) are washing up on the shores of islands. So much so, they require assistance from other countries to help keep the sands clear of this junk.
Plastic Straws Have a Negative Impact On Our Wildlife
Sadly, plastic straws also make their way to wildlife. Animals see this small piece of plastic and think it’s food, eat and they become dislodged in their throat, suffocating from them. In one such instance, a straw perforated a penguin’s stomach. It’s a fact that animals cannot digest plastic. Once it’s in the stomach it stays there because they are not broken down.
Plastic Straws Have a Negative Impact On Us
And if all the previous facts don’t inspire or affect you, then maybe the statistics on plastic straws hurting people will. Plastic needs oil to make them. One Green Planet states that anywhere between 12 million to 17 million barrels of oil are needed to produce plastic materials; with that also comes the burning of fuel to process these oils. All of the pollution entering our atmosphere, and eventually, our bodies is putting a huge risk on people for developing all sorts of illnesses.
Why Are Plastic Straws So Bad?
Plastic does not degrade into the environment. Newspapers, as an example, are biodegradable. This means that over time, if they’ve been dumped into our environment, they break-down by bacteria or other living organisms and enter back into the environment, safely. Plastic is not biodegradable. They stay intact for years, hundreds of years. This is polluting our world and causing animals of all sizes to suffer. Stainless steel straws, on the other hand, are reusable and don’t need to be thrown out.
Replacing Plastic Straws with Stainless Steel Straws
The solution will never be a simple answer and completely eradicating plastic straws will probably not happen for several years; every one of us can speak up to spread the message; there is something we can do to help.
Instead of accepting or buying plastic straws, invest in buying reusable stainless steel straws. There’s been a wave of stainless steel straws produced so that we can now use a straw for our drinks. These reusable straws last years (Greens Steel straws come with a lifetime warranty.). To keep them clean many bring a cleaning brush to wash and maintain its cleanliness.
Let’s do our part, the small changes we do in our lives are for the greater good for the planet, the animals and for the generations to come.