Plastic Straws, Conservation, and the Future of the Environment
In 2018, over 500 million straws were used in America each day. The environmental impact of this extensive use has been well-documented by advocacy groups, and now, more and more companies, organizations, and individuals are working to reduce the number of plastic products—including straws—that they use. With time, these conservation efforts can make a noteworthy environmental difference, and substantially less plastic will be found in landfills and natural landscapes, including oceans and other bodies of water.
The following guide highlights the seriousness of plastic overuse. Additionally, alternatives to plastic straws are detailed.
Virtually all conservation experts have agreed that the more people know about the topic, the more they can help to make a difference.
Let's take a look.
Plastic Straws Might Be Small, But They Make a Big Impact
As was initially mentioned, over 500 million non-renewable straws were used in America in 2018—each and every day. More than 3.5 billion non-renewable straws were used per week, on average. If the number of straws used in a single day were lined up, they'd stretch around the Earth two and a half times. Moreover, recycling isn't especially common, some straws cannot be recycled, and a large portion of these straws end up in landfills and natural environments. Furthermore, some non-renewable straws require nearly 200 years to decompose entirely. Annually, over 1,000,000 sea creatures and marine animals die from consuming plastic.
In short, non-renewable straws might be small in size, but they make a big impact. Animals, plants, and the environment are directly affected by plastic products, and unless something is done to curb the use of plastic, this trend will continue and grow in coming years.
Alternative Straws: The Wave of the Future
Just because one type of straw is bad for the Earth doesn't mean that all types of straws are bad for the Earth. Alternative straws are increasing in popularity, and as they continue to do so, the environmental impact of non-sustainable straws will lessen. Lastly, straw users have a plethora of choices available to them.
The metal straw is eco-friendly, and it's as reliable and effective as the traditional straw. Restaurants, entertainment centers, and more are beginning to adopt the metal straw not just to help the environment, but to save money. The cost of plastic quickly adds up; metal straws are unique in that they can be purchased for a small upfront investment, and after that, they can be washed alongside dishes and silverware.
Bamboo straws aren't quite as popular as metal straws, but they're quickly catching on. These all-natural products can be easily recycled, and because bamboo is so abundant, bamboo straws are surprisingly affordable to buy and use. It should also be noted that bamboo straws are reusable.
Hopefully this information made clear that plastic straws have a profound impact on the environment and ecosystems, and that sustainable alternatives to these products do exist. As more people are convinced that eco-friendly straws are the way to go, the environment—and an abundance of its creatures—will benefit.
Thanks for reading, and here's to reusable and environmentally conscientious straws!