There is one tiny piece of plastic that is causing massive problems all over the world: the plastic straw. If you want to make a significant impact and reduce plastic pollution, make the last plastic straw your last plastic straw. We know they’re fun and colorful and just about everywhere, but there are plenty of alternatives that are much better for the planet.
Plastic straw pollution
It is estimated that in the US alone, 500 million plastic straws are used every day. To put it in terms that are simpler (yet horrifying) to imagine, 500 million plastic straws is enough to wrap around the earth 2.5 times!!
We bet you won’t have to look far to spot a plastic straw in your vicinity. Plastic straws are everywhere. What’s worse, very few ends up in recycling bins and recycling centers. They end up in landfills, and eventually, in the ocean.
Say no to plastic straws
You can make a big difference by saying no to plastic straws. If you break it down, 500 million plastic straws a day means that each person uses between one and two plastic straws a day. That habit shouldn’t be so hard to break. You will need to be proactive, though, because once you become aware of the plastic straw problem, you start to realize just how often plastic straws are being pushed on you every day.
Avoiding plastic straw pushers
Anywhere there is liquid; there is a plastic straw. Even bodegas and convenience stores have boxes of straws readily available. There are straws with alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks, alike. Cold drinks come with a plastic straw for drinking, and hot drinks come with plastic straws for stirring. Every restaurant will bring you a straw with every drink. They may even bring a new one with every refill. Fancy restaurants may snub their noses at big plastic straws, but they’ll be more than happy to throw in a few tiny plastic straws in your fancy cocktail. However, it’s not just the service and hospitality industry that is the problem; we are all plastic straw pushers. Straws are a staple at parties, whether you’re turning two or 102, and all celebrations.
Alternatives to plastic straws
Plastic straws have become the norm, so it’s going to feel weird making the change. However, there are plenty of alternatives to plastic straws. The first is to simply drink out of the glass, can, or bottle. If that is too boring, or you miss dressing up your drinks with fun colorful straws, buy paper or biodegradable straws. There is also a growing market for stainless steel reusable straws, glass straws, and bamboo straws. All are much better alternatives to plastic straws.
Sunrise Sanitation provides waste management and recycling services in Maryland and West Virginia. Our services include residences, businesses, and job-sites. Contact us to sign up for your services.