Plastic is made from non-renewable fossil fuel (oil). In general, the pollution generated from plastic manufacturing harms and kills a wide range of marine life. However, more specifically, straws made from plastic add to this pollution, leading to irrevocable environmental damage.
One way to help reduce the effect that plastic is having on the environment is to forego a plastic straw and use a metal one instead.
1. SAFE AND DURABLE
Alternatives to plastic also include glass and bamboo. However, glass can break, presenting a serious safety issue. Bamboo, which can also can break, also has striated and porous surfaces, making it harder to clean and maintain. A straw made of metal, however, such as stainless steel, will not break, does not rust, and is easy to clean.
2. EASY TO CLEAN
Unlike plastic, this type of straw is dishwasher-safe. It simply requires you to rinse it and place it in the dishwasher. Alternatively, since most straws come with brushes, cleaning by hand with soap and water is a breeze.
They are perfect for use in the park, at a campsite, or at work. Additionally, since they are strong, they will not break when packed away, making them perfect for any use outside of the home. Children can even use them in the car on an afternoon road trip.
Since petroleum is widely available, plastic items are easy and cheap to manufacture. Because of this, copious use of plastic items results in vast amounts of waste, which has wide-spread damaging effects on the environment.
The good news is that a stainless-steel straw, for example, is made to be used again and again. It is highly durable, and one straw can eliminate the need for hundreds of plastic ones. Keeping them clean ensures convenient use for years to come.
Toxic chemicals and fumes are released whenever plastics are manufactured. Many of these harmful by-products ultimately end up polluting the land, air, and water.
Additionally, through improper disposal, a straw made of plastic can end up in a lake or ocean, causing devastating effects on ecosystems and marine life. For instance, plastic particles choke marine animals that mistake them for food, and they can clog the gills of fish, impeding a creature’s ability to breathe normally.
A reusable straw, however, can directly help to mitigate these horrible effects. The pollution that is a result of the manufacturing of plastic can be reduced because the need for plastic is reduced.
6. DECREASING THE NEED FOR LANDFILLS
Plastic waste is one of the main types of waste that ends up in a landfill. In fact, of the 335 million metric tons of plastic manufactured yearly, only a very small portion is recycled. This means that the rest non-recycled plastic ends up in landfills.
Additionally, plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. During this time, the chemicals can leach into the ground, polluting the soil, water, and atmosphere.
7. LESS OVERALL COST
Plastic straws are a use-once-and-throw-away item. Over time, the costs add up. There are also environmental costs to consider. For instance, governments must spend large amounts of money to clear landfills and dispose of plastic items. Plastic alternatives, such as metal, are reusable. As such, they decrease the overall financial costs of cleanup, freeing that money to be used elsewhere.