1) Plastics degrade slowly but never biodegrades
To better comprehend how, for example, plastic straws affect negatively our environment it is necessary to distinguish between degrading and biodegrading.
Degrading is the process of breaking down material such as plastics into smaller pieces. In the case of plastics, these pieces will never fully disappear from our environment, contrarily, not only it will take about 200 years to degrade but will stay on the Earth forever. To worsen the situation is the fact that some kinds of plastic straws are made of toxic materials and when they degrade, they leave their toxic substances in our environment, damaging plants and the animals that ingest it. The biodegrading process occurs when a substance is naturally broken down and digested by other microorganisms and therefore recycled into new organic molecules. This process is completely natural and it will not have a negative impact on our environment.
2) Plastic straws are hard to recycle
Plastic straws are made of a material called polypropylene. Things made of Polypropylene can theoretically be recycled, but they are not easily accepted by the majority of recycling programs. That means that ALL plastics straws are sent in landfills. Much of the plastics finished in oceans, where it does damage in many ways.
3) Plastics collect in garbage patches in oceans
A garbage patch is a collection of degraded or not degraded garbage and waste , mostly made of plastics that pile up in the ocean from the ocean’s current. Several oceans are today compromised from the elevated number of garbage spread out throughout the ocean. Garbage patches are one of the main reasons behind the death of marine wildlife as well as water contamination. Plastics straws are a great part of garbage patches.
4)Plastic straws are used pretty often, causing great harm to Ocean wildlife
Data from Ocean Conservancy’s TIDES system shows us that straws are the 11th most found ocean trash in cleanups, making up approximately 3% of recovered trash. This has a negative impact on marine life. Several animals over the years have been found with pieces of straws stuck into their stomachs, nostrils, throat etc. An example is a video below where researchers of the coast of Costa Rica remove a plastic straw found in the nostril of an Olive ridley sea turtle. Seabirds are known to be the animals that are most affected by plastic straws as they are misled to believe that is food and they try to ingest them. As a result, they often chock to death in an attempt to swallow the straws. Over 1 million seabirds die every year as a result of eating plastic. To worsen the situation is the fact that when animals eat plastics they will full and therefore they are unable to feed themselves with real food. As a result, they keep on starving before they die. The picture below is proof of how much damage plastics that do to wildlife.
5)Take action : Fight with us against the production and adoption of single-use of plastics.
Plastic straws are not necessary for humans to live. They are often used just one time and then tossed out. The only way to reduce the usage or plastics and therefore pollution is by simply refusing to use it. A good way of contributing to the environment clean up is by purchasing reusable stainless-steel straws. Reusable straws can be easily carried with us in a simple pouch or attached to our keychain. They can easily be cleaned and reused the next time. And better, drinks don’t taste like plastic!
Although steel is obtained through an industrial process, it makes up for its impact with its durability. As a matter of fact, a reusable steel straw can be used theoretically for your entire lifetime!