WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH STRAWS?
More than 520 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone (www.ecocycle.org/bestrawfree/faqs). That’s 175 billion straws per year filtering into landfills (environment) and littering our waterways and oceans.
A plastic straw that is used for a minute, or not even at all, will remain for decades in the environment (landfills, or as litter in waterways), breaking apart — not breaking down — into smaller microplastics.
Those microplastics become ingested by animals, not only harming those animals, but making their way up the aquatic food chain into the foods we eat. *
BUT AREN’T PLASTIC STRAWS RECYCLABLE?
Unfortunately, plastic straws are not recyclable. There is no way to determine the type of plastic they are made with and straws are too small for the sorters and can interrupt the system.
WHAT ABOUT COMPOSTABLE OR BIODEGRADABLE STRAWS?
Compostable or biodegradable plastics are derived partly or fully from biomass or are biodegradable. The problem is that these items need to be transported to a large industrial composting facility to create the ideal conditions in which to break down these types of plastics.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Plastic Straws are an easy way to introduce a conversation about the enormity of single-use plastic consumption and its impact on the environment, animals and human health.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Simply request “no straw” wherever you eat in (or take out), and share your commitment with others.
Encourage your favorite dining establishments to provide plastic straws upon request only. Better still, ask them to use paper or reusable options.
Encourage your employer to replace plastic straws with paper ones, and to replace coffee stirrers with bamboo or wood. Take this step further: Request that kitchens/cafeterias are stocked with reusable items such as mugs, cups, utensils, and plates.
DO MORE by USING LESS: less consumption, less waste, fewer straws. It’s a win-win!