We all know this by now, plastic straws are REALLY BAD for the ocean, and if you're not convinced yet, we recommend checking out the "Sea Turtle with Straw up its Nostril" video.
An estimated 8.5 billion straws are used each year in the UK alone, and most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life. Many governments are looking at banning single-use plastics, and we want to do our bit for the environment by encouraging people to stop using plastic straws for good. If we don’t act now, by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Most plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through any mechanical recycling sorter. They drop through sorting screens and mix with other materials and are too small to separate, contaminating recycling loads, or getting disposed of as garbage.
Remember, all drains lead to the ocean! When plastic does make it into the ocean it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces known as microplastics rather than biodegrading or dissolving, which poses great threats to marine life including fish. It is projected that 2050, 99% of all sea bird species will have ingested plastic. The mortality rate can be “up to” 50%. And, already, research has shown plastic in sea salt, tap water, and shellfish. Scientists have discovered microplastics particles smaller than dust or powdered sugar inside baby sea turtles. Of the turtle’s studies in this research, 100% were found to have eaten plastic. These baby sea turtles were likely dying due to ingested plastic pollution, which threatens the species’ survival.
We already know that plastic bags and soda can rings are bad for the environment and end up in the ocean. Few people realize that straws are among the top 10 items found during beach cleanups and can do so much harm to seabirds, turtles, and other marine creatures.
As an item of convenience for many of us, we believe refusing the single-use plastic straw is the easiest and simplest way for everyone to act today to address plastic pollution. If we all take the pledge to refuse single-use plastic straws, we will see a significant decrease in the number of straws found during coastal cleanups.
Accept and challenge someone else to #stopsucking as part of the viral social media challenge! At the very least say “no plastic straw please!” Get in the habit of asking for no straw before you even order a beverage. And be ready to tell your server why.