This planet is the only one we got, and we need to treat it well. Every day, marine life is threatened by the use of plastic products that ultimately end up in the ocean. One step that the world is taking currently is to stop using plastic straws. Mcdonalds and Starbucks have both started to eliminate these products. In addition, Whole Foods just announced that they are putting a ban on all plastic straws. Several places are opting for paper instead. Paper straws are biodegradable, meaning that even if they end up in the ocean, they will break down within three days. Meanwhile, plastic straws take years to decompose. Paper straws are also affordable to buy in bulk for 2 cents each, so this change will not be difficult for a business to take on.
Switching to paper straws is only the beginning of ending this epidemic. Still, it encourages people to start focusing more on their environmental footprint. Removing plastic straws will get rid of 0.03% of plastic waste. This might not seem like much, but it still significant. 8.3 billion plastic straws are currently on beaches around the world. This is due to businesses such as restaurants using such an abundance of them. The benefit of these straws is that they are disposable, making them easy to use. That is why paper straws are a good alternative for restaurants to use.
Plastic is harmful for several reasons. For one, plastic does not decompose but instead breaks down into smaller pieces. These pieces are digested by marine life which is extremely dangerous to them. Wildlife is also often tangled up in plastic pieces on beaches. For instance, turtles get straws caught up their noses which is very painful for them. When these realities are acknowledged, it is impossible not to realize how necessary it is to stop using plastic straws - and plastic in general. As for the effect on humans, it is also severe. The toxins in plastic are linked to health issues such as cancer and birth defects. In addition, plastic must be cleaned up. When it piles up on beaches and littered on the streets, it can cost billions in order to clean up. These reasons alone should show that it is essential to remove plastic waste from the earth.
Metal and glass straws are an alternative that consumers can buy for personal use. This is more difficult to impose, but would certainly make a big difference. One thing that can encourage this is restaurants not providing straws - even paper ones - unless the customer requests one. This will decrease the number of straws used in businesses. Also, it could inspire people to have their own metal or glass straws that they can bring wherever they go. These straws are great and can be bought for less than ten dollars. These are reusable so it is a one time purchase. The more these straws are encouraged and advertised, the better the environment will benefit.
The elimination of plastic waste starts by providing alternatives that are easy to implement. Paper straws are the best first step to help to solve this problem. It is time to jump on board to this initiative and see it as the positive action that it is. Paper straws are safe and good to use and have a great impact on the safety of both wildlife and humans.