Plastic straws may be small, but they have a huge impact on our delicate environment. A mind-boggling 500 million straws are used and disposed of in the US every day. At this rate, our oceans will be more plastic than marine life by the year 2050!
Why You Should Stop Using Plastic Straws?
If you use plastic straws, you won't take long to switch to plastic straw alternatives after going through
Cannot Be Recycled
Most plastic straws are too lightweight to go through a mechanical sorter. They drop right through sorting screens and mix with other materials that cannot be separated. This way the straws also contaminated recycling loads or end up in the trash and ultimately to landfills.
Choke Marine Life
Most plastic straws end up in the ocean because of human; They are left on beaches to be taken by the tide or get blown out of overfilling trash cans and right into water sources such as gutters and rivers all which lead to the ocean.
The sheer amount of straws that end up in the ocean has a naturally negative impact on marine as well as coastal life. In fact, about 800 different species are affected by plastic pollution and over 100,000 marine animals die as a result of it. Plastic straws make up a large amount of that waste. Since they are
small, they are easily ingested by birds, animals and large fish.
Once eaten, the straws cause animals and birds to starve to death because it cannot be digested. They assume they are full because of the weight in their stomach and loses the motivation to hunt or feed itself to survive. Besides starvation, plastic straws also get stuck in other plastic debris creating a pseudo
net that traps sea turtles and other marine life effectively chocking them to death.
Eco-Friendly Plastic Straw Alternatives
As the trend towards sustainability grows, plastic straws are now being targeted by environmentally conscious establishments. As such, more and more businesses are searching for alternatives that can help them reduce their carbon footprint and save marine life.The fight is on to ban single use plastic straws forever and you can do your part by choosing these environmentally friendly alternatives.
Paper straws are compostable. The material can break down into organic matter leaving little to no carbon footprint behind. These are durable enough to last in a glass of water for up to three hours depending on the brand you choose.
Metal straws are made of stainless steel or aluminum. These are extremely durable, can be used multiple times and are dishwasher safe.
Most glass straws are made out of borosilicate, the same material which is used to make kitchenware and other glassware such as coffee pots. It is quite durable, can remain damage free in the freezer, microwave and dishwasher and won't shatter whether it is used for hot or cold beverages. Plus, unlike plastic straws, glass is hypoallergenic which means it doesn't trigger allergies.
These straws are made from food-grade silicone which is free of BPA making it a great option for seniors, children and people who have disabilities. Besides being good alternatives to plastic straws, silicone straws are softer on the mouth and can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees. You can also boil these in hot water to sanitize them before use.
Bamboo straws are made using natural resources so they can biodegrade without harming surrounding plant and animal life. These straws are made from one of the most sustainable plants in the world, require no harmful pesticides to flourish and grow fast. Plus, bamboo regenerates from the roots so it doesn't have to be replanted.
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Agave is usually harvested for its sweet nectar, but it is quickly rising in popularity because of its use as an alternative to single use plastic straws. It decomposes 200 times faster than plastic counterparts and can biodegrade fully in five years in landfills. In contrast, plastic straws take 200 years to do the same! That's longer than you or anyone you know will remain alive!
It is never too late to stop using plastic straws. Drinking an iced tea may be the highlight of your day, but it will taste better if you're conscious is clear. So ditch ocean-chocking plastic straws and choose biodegradable options each time. Rest easy knowing that you are doing your part to make the Earth a
better place to live in for future generations.