According to The Last Straw campaign, the U.S. goes through enough straws to fill a Yankee Stadium 9 times a year! Now that that image has sunk in, allow your imagination to then factor in the rest of the world and their usages of straws… Oh wait, hold up, it’s far from an exercise in imagination, it’s a hard reality! What sucks more than plastic straws, is where they end up after their one-time use. Here are 3 key reasons why you should be on your last plastic straw too.
1) Reusable Straws Don't Contain Polypropylene/Carcinogenics
Straws used to be made from highly toxic polystyrene (#6), the same plastic our red solo-cups are made from. Fortunately, today, most of our drinking straws are now made from polyethylene (#2) and more the commonly known, polypropylene (#5), which is typically used for water bottles, ropes, and just about any condiment container hanging out on the door in your fridge. Polypropylene is considered to have a lower risk of toxins, however, according to Karin B. Michels, ScD, PhD, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School’s School of Public Health, the harder more durable the straw is, the more likely it is to contain BPAs. For all those hot coffee drinkers out there, you may want to rethink that hard-plastic stir stick.
2) Reusable Straws Don't Harm Wild/Marine Life
If you haven’t already witnessed the video of a turtle having a straw yanked from his nostril, go ahead and click here. This is just one case caught on tape. And with the rate in which the amount of disposable straws are produced per day, it’s only a matter of time where life in the sea, and life on land will be even more jeopardized daily because of our lousy penchant for convenience. Unlike us, animals aren’t able to distinguish between what is plastic and what is food, and according to an article in Time, “researchers have estimated that 90% of seabirds, whales and dolphins have ingested plastic straws” and according to National Geographic, “anchovies are mistaking microplastics for food because it smells like food”. In an earlier blog post, ‘Macro Pollution, Micro Marine’ we talk more about the dangers in the plastic consumption chain, click here to learn more.
3) Reusable Straws Are Long Lasting
The issue we face when trying to recycle plastic straws is: they are incredibly lightweight which impedes them from making it to recycling facilities in the first place. And, because straws are a channel for liquids to go through, most of the time they are not recycle due to food and liquid contamination. Your 20 minute drink costs the planet 2,000 years of trying to break down your plastic straw. But, I'm certain by now you know that plastic never actually goes away, completely.
The solution? Simple - switch to sustainable options, like our reusable steel straws! Because according to Freedonia, the need for disposables will continue to rise, and fast food chains provide single-use plastic straws throughout the world in over 100 countries, not to mention other plastic inserts. McDonald's alone has 36,000 stores. However, things are looking up, according to a recent CBC article, over 125 restaurants in Toronto signed up to be a part of The Last Straw campaign, that commenced just days before Earth Day of this year. Many bars and restaurants throughout the nation thereafter voluntarily decided to completely ban the use of disposable straws, and this trend is growing to some of the biggest retailers. We know that our plastic problem goes beyond the straw, this is just one of many solutions we're providing options for.