Plastic straws are an unnecessary item that can be replaced with an eco-friendly alternative that can do the job just as well. And for every person that gives up the use of these plastic tubes, thousands of marine lives could be saved.
A grand total of 500 million straws are produced every single day. And whilst many people believe that straws are not too bad as they can go into the recycling bins, statistics show that in fact only 15 percent of the plastics produced are properly recycled. With regards to plastic straws, this means that around 425 million straws head straight to landfill sites every day, instead of being correctly recycled.
After the landfill, the majority of the straws, along with tonnes of other plastic that has not been recycled in households and other buildings, will end up in the oceans and waterways. Like many other common plastic items, they will then end up in the ocean, thereby having disastrous effects on global marine life and ecosystems. A recent UN study stated that over 800 marine species are now endangered due to an excess of plastic waste.
Although plastic straws are small items, they still take thousands of years to break down, which seems preposterous considering that they are only used for a few minutes during the intake of one beverage, before being tossed aside without an afterthought for their future journey after their solo use.
A recent online video showed some of the damaging effects that straws can have on wildlife in the ocean. The video that shows rescuers extracting a straw from the nostril of a sea turtle is highly distressing and puts the use of routine items into perspective.
In order to prevent the harm caused on marine wildlife by these plastic straws that are only used once before being tossed in the bin, there are alternatives which are easily accessible and do not cause so much harm to the planet.
There is a range of different reusable straws which will diminish the need to ever buy harmful disposable straws again such as stainless steel drinking set which is a non-toxic straw that can be used again and again. They have a curved design, just like the original bendy plastic straws, and their sleek aesthetic makes them great for entertaining guests during events.
All of these options are neatly and compactly designed, meaning that they can be taken out anywhere and used with any drink. If everyone began using reusable straws, millions of pieces of plastic would be kept out of the oceans every year, saving a huge number of marine lives.