It's Not Just the Bottle: Rethinking Plastic Straws | ASHLEY ASTI

 

Every day in the United States alone, 500 million plastic straws are used and thrown away. This gratuitous use of plastic straws—at bars, restaurants, in our fast food drinks, our frappuccinos, and even our to-go green juices—is not only putting an undue strain on our planet and marine habitats, but our health. 

We must start moving to a zero-waste, health-conscious solution. 

The problem with plastic straws (and plastic, in general) is that it does not biodegrade. Instead of breaking down and recycling itself in the earth, plastic remains forever, simply breaking apart into smaller pieces; it never disappears. The plastic waste you throw away today will be here for eternity.

This is unacceptable if we are to survive on this planet along with our companion creatures.

Eight million tons of human-generated plastic—that’s a dump truck full of plastic every minute—end up in our oceans every year. We are responsible for this egregious violation of the earth’s space and wellbeing and we must recognize the urgency of a hands-on, lifestyle- and consciousness-shifting solution. Because plastic fails to degrade (only “photo degrade,” or break down into smaller pieces), our marine life—fish and birds—are being poisoned and choked by our reckless plastic habits. Scientists estimate that, by 2050, “virtually every seabird on the planet will have plastic in its stomach.” 

According to the World Economic Forum, the earth’s oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050. In other words, our daily actions—for the sake of convenience—are polluting and wreaking havoc on entire ecosystems. We must leave a different legacy for our children and the earth they’ll inhabit.

It is time we reconsider plastic straws. Made from polypropylene, a bi-product of fossil fuels, disposable plastic straws can never be tossed or incinerated without human consequences. The toxic chemicals in our plastic straws (and plastic takeout containers, water bottles, utensils, etc.) leach into the drinks we place them in—or anything they touch. Our over-abundant use of plastic is destroying our health, adding toxicity to our meals and beverages on a daily basis. 

In fact, plastic is so foreign to our earth that there exists nothing in nature that can break it down. This means that after plastic is disposed of or even incinerated, its toxic dioxins end up in our air. Once released in the air, these harmful pollutants end up settling on our food crops and accumulating with increasing strength in our bodies and the bodies of our companion creatures. This is not ok.

We must take action. The only way to alter this dangerous trajectory is to stop using plastic straws entirely. There is no other solution; it is time we take accountability in a personal way for the crisis we’re creating on our earth. 

To be part of the solution, choose infinitely reusable glass straws like Simply Straws. They’re BPA-free, created with nontoxic colors, are dishwasher safe, and extremely durable. Best of all, they’re committed to giving back to causes that strive for a healthier, sustainable, cleaner future.

For more information on how you can join the movement to rid our planet—and our local eateries—of plastic straws, visit The Last Plastic Straw. We must be the change.

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