Americans use about 500 million plastic straws a day and they aren’t recyclable. Many become litter and are carried down storm drains and into waterways.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that plastic straws are one of the top five most common items found during International Coastal Cleanups. This is a problem that really sucks up a lot of resources. (Pun intended!)
The good news is there are reusable alternatives to plastic straws, like those made from metal, glass, or bamboo. Reusable versions are great gifts for the environmentally responsible folks on your shopping list. They, and you, can make a statement without making waste.
Here are ways to reduce or eliminate the use of plastic straws:
Step 1: Make a personal commitment to say “no” to plastic straws. Whenever ordering a drink, politely request in advance “no straw, please.”
Step 2: Reach out to your favorite local eateries in your neighborhood and ask them to change their protocol to provide straws only upon request.
Step 3: Encourage restaurants to switch to nonplastic straw options, like good, old-fashioned paper!
Check out “The Last Plastic Straw” for more ideas. According to this website, 80% of all marine debris found in the ocean is land based, and 80-90% of the marine debris is made from plastic. Make a commitment to reduce your impact today — and start with your straw choice!
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