Each day, we unconsciously make small decisions that have a resounding impact on our environment. We consume and discard without thought, but our collective actions are not without consequence, the planet is paying for our rampant consumption and the effects can no longer be overlooked. The Straw Free Movement is gaining momentum as more and more people are choosing to become aware of the devastating environmental effects of this everyday single-use object. Committing to doing away with plastic straws is a small change that brings us one step closer to a healthier planet.
An estimated 500 million plastic straws are used each day in the United States alone. These straws make their way into landfills and choke our oceans. Millions of mammals, sea birds and countless fish are killed by way of consuming these straws. Plastic does not biodegrade, the material simply breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces over the course of decades. Environmentalists are now committed to the movement, with many major US cities sitting up and taking notice of the widespread campaign against straw use. Seattle, Fort Meyers, Malibu and others have banned restaurants from giving single-use straws out.”This is something that we can no longer avoid addressing,” said Diana Lofflin, the founder of StrawFree.org. “It’s become a global issue, and straws are on the leading edge.”
Manufacturers are seeking out alternatives that are biodegradable and reusable. As of May 2019, UK McDonalds outlets will exclusively make use of paper straws. The decision was announced one week after ubiquitous US coffee chain Starbucks publicly stated it would phase out plastic straw use by 2020. Other more sustainable alternatives, like stainless steel, bamboo and glass straws are making their way into restaurants. The next time you grab your daily soda or iced coffee, consider foregoing your plastic straw; it could very well change the world. For more information visit strawfree.org