ALL ABOUT PLASTIC STRAWS
Does anyone of you use plastic straws? I’m pretty sure most of you. And why not? They´re pretty useful, cheap and fancy. Who doesn’t like to sip on a cocktail, preferably nicely decorated with a straw? Or taking pictures of their Starbucks Frappuccino? Or just drink water with a straw, so the ice cubes don’t annoy you while drinking?
I think you get my point; straws are everywhere. I mean, they’re actually pretty useful and can make your Frappuccino or cocktail look way prettier. So, why shouldn’t we use them? They’re fancy, aren’t they? Well, of course they are, if you like huge plastic islands in the ocean or colorful waste instead of sand on the beaches.
It’s no secret, that this is exactly what’s happening right now. Ironically, most of the plastic used ends up in the sea, no matter where you threw it away. That’s why there are beaches with more plastic than actually sand or rocks. Those huge plastic islands I talked about before: they actually exist. The biggest one is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it has the size of about 1 600 000 km². That’s about 3.7 times the size of California.
The role of plastic straws…
Straws are the 7th most common item found in trash mountains and plastic islands. In numbers: we use about 3Mrd plastic straws worldwide. Per day. Just in Germany, they use over 28.000 tons of plastic straws per year. Very interesting when considering, that one straw has the weight of about 1 gram. Most people will throw them away after a one-time use. They’re cheap anyways, so what should we worry about? Hmm… maybe the environment? Our health? Our future?
I want you to think about it: do you really need those straws? Is it so important to drink your water or cocktail or coffee through one? Are they really so useful, cheap and fancy, to neglect your own health and future for them? Believe me, its not. And even if there are some people whose life may depend on straws, the brought majority doesn’t actually need them at all.
What can we do?
We’re at a point, where recycling isn’t enough anymore. We’re at a point, where we should start caring for our environment. So why don’t start with the small things in life?
Actually, some states and countries already banned the usage of plastic straws, like for example Seattle since 2018. Also, many states in the EU plan on banning disposable plastic, including straws, during the upcoming years. They are great examples to follow. And even if your state didn’t ban disposable plastic yet: you can still stop using it.
Many of you will probably ask themselves now: but what with all the soda and cocktails? How should we drink them without a straw? Well, there are actually many environment-friendly alternatives. Straws made out of glass or stainless steel for example are not just reusable but look also pretty. Straws made out of paper are a good alternative as well, although most of the time they can be used only once. All of these options are great, however, the best alternative to plastic straws might be a bamboo straw, as it is reusable and biodegradable. Another unique and ecofriendly straw is “strawgetti”, a straw made out of uncooked noodles (and if you want, you can cook them after using them as straws). You see? There are many alternatives to which you can switch. It all depends on your preference. And although most of them are slightly more expensive than a plastic straw, they are reusable. That means that in a long term, there isn’t a huge difference in pricing. If you want, you can check out some nice plastic-free online stores, like kappi, solocups, pandapackaging and many, many more.
It’s time to make the first step and get rid of all your plastic straws. Make a positive impact on our world and start with it today!