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No More Plastic Straw Please: We Throw Away 500 Million Plastic Straws Every Day

YijunW CA, United States 0 Ratings 53 Discussions 0 Group posts

Posted by: YijunW

No More Plastic Straw Please: We Throw Away 500 Million Plastic Straws Daily

An accrual 8.3 billion plastic straws are polluting the world's beaches, stated by Roland Geyer et al.’s 2018 paper "Production, Use, and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made." Americans alone use 500 million straws every single day. In the United Kingdom, at least 12 million straws are estimated to be tossed away daily, according to the National Geographic.

Plastic straws do not biodegrade and cannot be recycled. If we do nothing about it, 12 billion tons of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050 (Roland Geyer). Tessa Hempson, manager for Oceans Without Borders, reports that "one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans. As time passes, plastic items in the sea fragment into smaller and smaller pieces of microplastics and are often mistakenly eaten by marine animals. Forty-four percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of whales and dolphins, all sea turtle species, and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies." How can we continue to tolerate the continuous spread of plastic straws across the planet? How can we excuse killing other species living on the same planet, over what might be called an avoidable novelty for most people and situations?

Some good news is that there have been some efforts to ban some plastic to protect our environment and animals:

In 2017 fall, California became the first state in the United States of America to ban plastic bags, joining nations that already do so, including Kenya, China, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Macedonia. France not only bans plastic bags, but also becomes the first country to ban plastic plates, cups, and utensils, effective 2020 (National Geographic).

Some companies have taken a head start in advance of government action. Soneva, an international environmentally-responsible resort chain, banned straws in 2008. Cayuga, a sustainable hotel brand, has been using bamboo straws since 2010. Hotels like them are pioneers that pave the way for the straw-free movement.

Think about this: For any able-bodied person, drinking without a straw is extremely simple. The implementation of a straw ban will not require any drastic change in behavior.

NRDC is hosting a petition for the plastic straw ban in California. Are you a concerned California resident? Tell your state senator to help reduce the use of plastic straws in California by supporting AB 1884:

To read more, please visit:
Roland Geyer

National Geographic



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