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Plastic Straws – The Environmental Impact – STOP IT NOW

Friday, 3/05/2019

It’s no secret that plastic straws and plastic, in general, are bad for the environment ( especially marine life). Human beings have had a long history with Plastic Straws. Scientists noted that single-use plastic straws are difficult to recycle and most are buried or burned. The rest are thrown into drains or rivers and lakes, causing congestion. In the US alone, about 500,000 plastic straws are used every day. In the UK, people consume 8.5 billion plastic straws every year.

According to research published in Scientific Reports, huge amounts of the waste are up to 79,000 tons, equivalent to 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, floating around the ocean. They include fishing nets, plastic boxes, plastic bags and plastic straws that take 100 to 500 years to decompose.

Where does all this plastic go? A leading scientific study showed that of the 8.3 billion metrics tons of plastic ever produced only 9% has been recycled. This includes plastic straws and all sorts of other single-use plastics.

What happened to the rest? 12% has been incinerated. The majority at 79% ends up in landfills, dumps or the natural environment.

Before the situation of marine environmental pollution is at an alarming level, especially the plastic waste of many countries in the world has been promulgating regulations to prohibit the use of single-use plastic products…

Why Are Straws So Bad For The Environment?

  1. They can’t be easily recycled

Plastic straws are one of the leading product damaging the environment. Being made from polypropylene, a byproduct of petroleum, it takes an incredible amount of energy and natural resources to manufacture these straws. In addition, plastic straws aren’t recyclable because they’re generally made from single-use plastic and are so flimsy that they can’t endure the recycling process. Instead of being decomposed and formed a new product, disposable plastic straws will be thrown into the landfill or rivers then escape into waterways leading to the ocean.

  1. Do plastic straws biodegrade?

Like most general plastics, plastic straws take a long time to completely decompose. To be clear, biodegrading and degrading are two completely different processes. Biodegrading is when an item can be naturally broken down and digested by micro-organisms, and then naturally recycled into new organic molecules and life.

Meanwhile, degrading is just the process of breaking down into smaller pieces. When plastic degrades, the bulk of the plastic will seem to disappear. However, in fact, the plastic is breaking into smaller, invisible pieces will survive for thousands of years on earth.

To be worse, plastic straws take up to 200 years to degrade, but will never be totally off the Earth, as plastics are not biodegradable. The degrading of plastic even release chemicals that are toxic to wildlife and the environment.

  1. Plastics harm marine life – Massive ocean garbage!

Plastic straws always to make it on the list of one of the most found ocean litter. And, as of early 2019, according to the statistics from Ocean Conservancy’s TIDES system, straws are the 8th most found ocean trash when doing cleanups by quantity, making up about 3% of recovered trash.

With bright colors, plastic straws are mistaken for food by animals and birds. Plastic straws, which cannot be digested, can block airways or destroy the digestive system of organisms. In fact, over 1 million seabirds die each year from ingesting plastic.

At present, we may be aware that plastic straws are necessary items but not required for our lives. Even, people are exchanging the convenience to the long-term damage to the environment and the future of the earth. Removing this item from life is never urgent like this before.

Take Action

Each of our actions can make a small difference. The simplest way to reduce plastic pollution is to reject the use of single-use plastics, like straws. By asking for non-plastic straws when eating out, you can make a small simple step in the right direction. This, in turn, reduces the need for restaurants to store plastic straws in the first place and at best stop serving them by default.

Every single-use plastic straw we save from entering our Oceans is an improvement on the status quo. If we all chose eco-friendly alternatives to plastic straws we would alleviate the flow of this plastic waste culprit into our seas.

Here are some choices:

Paper straws: This is one of the earliest types of environmental protection straws and it is currently the best solution that many families and shops choose to use. This type of straw is made from paper, with a variety of colors, sizes, and designs as much as plastic straws. There is also no unpleasant smell of paper when drinking.

Bamboo straws: The bamboo straw is definitely the oldest product. You can easily see it in Japanese-style restaurants.

The strength of the bamboo straw is to re-use it many times instead of using it once and then “throw it away” like other biodegradable drinking straws. In addition, bamboo straws have a sturdy body so the durability is also very good. The lifespan of a bamboo straw depends on how you store it, when the straw has signs of color reduction, return it to nature.

Grass straws: Grass straws are a very new product and are enjoyed by many because it does not need to go through so many stages of production as other types and has a quite cheap price. There are two main types of pipes: fresh grass straws and hay grass straws.

Rice straws: The “edible straw” is the name that young people gave to these straws. In cold drinks, rice straws can be used for 4-10 hours, and for hot drinks, they can last 2-3 hours. This type of straw is made from a combination of rice flour and wheat, Now instead of throwing, you can literally “eat straws“.

Vinastraws is a Vietnamese leading rice straw supplier and manufacturer. We are proud to be a prestige and quality company for domestic and international markets. With efforts in operating, production and business activities, we always towards customer satisfaction. Vinastraws committed to giving you the best experience with good products in terms of quality and environmental protection.

The OneLessStraw Campaign

The OneLessStraw pledge campaign is a campaign created by One More Generation (OMG) and its partners. OMG is a nonprofit organization founded by Carter and Olivia Ries who have become world-renowned for their work on plastic pollution education and animal conservation.

Since the launch of the campaign, we have had over 3,000 people from over 44 countries around the world sign our online pledge form stating that “they promise not to use a single-use plastic straw for at least 30-days”.

The Last Plastic Straws Campaign

The Last Plastic Straw is a movement to eliminate single-use plastic at the source and a project of  Plastic Pollution Coalition.

The campaign is the result of the volunteer efforts of friends, professionals, athletes, developers, scientists, and artists committed to inspiring change in the way we view our disposable lifestyle. We believe plastic waste is the result of a lack of awareness regarding the refuse from products and services we use and take for granted every hour of every day. All of us with The Last Plastic Straw believes that the more we share with the world the effect these decisions have on our environment, the more inspired we will all be to change our habits.

Sources:

OneLessStraw

The Last Plastic Straws

OneGreenPlanet