Seattle recently implemented at city wide ban on single use plastic straws. Which means restaurants in the area must now go straw-less or begin to offer reusable and/or compostable straws (as well as other utensils). This is a mighty step in the right direction! Although maybe a small one it’s a firm reminder about how much plastic actually winds up polluting our oceans.
Some estimate that Americans use 500 million straws a day! Most of these wind up in our oceans since they are typically too lightweight to properly make it through the mechanical recycling process. An estimated 71% of sea-birds and 30% of turtles have been found with some form of plastic in their stomachs leading to higher mortality rates of marine life.
There are many who do need straws to drink. Anyone who has suffered from life changing physical trauma may require a straw in order to drink liquids. So there still is a need for them, at least for some, but switching to reusable and/or compostable alternatives is a great way to play an important individual role in the fight against plastic pollution.
Being from Washington I am excited to see my state play its part in this and I urge those even outside the Seattle community to join in the reduction of the use of these plastics to help keep the one Earth we have clean.