3 min read
Plastic straws have become a commodity in our daily lives: We see and use them everywhere – at bars, at restaurants, at our favourite juice & smoothie bar, at the movie theater…the list goes on.
It had never really crossed our minds to refuse a straw, until a video of researchers pulling out a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nostril in Costa Rica went viral in 2015. This incredibly heartbreaking video showed us how plastic waste is detrimental to marine life, especially single-use plastics (such as straws), and sparked a movement to change our lifestyles and begin phasing out these disposable plastics.
**WARNING: The video linked above contains graphic content**
Here are 3 reasons why plastic straws suck:
1. Plastic straws rarely get recycled
It’s rare that a plastic straw will actually get recycled (even if we put it in a recycling bin). One of the major issues with plastic straws is that they are too small and lightweight to be captured in modern recycling equipment. So they end up in the trash and eventually in landfills, or even worse, in our oceans. Roughly 8 million tons of plastic find their way into our oceans each year.
2. Plastic straws are among the top 10 marine debris items
When ranking all plastic products, straws never fail to make it onto the Ocean Conservancy's Top 10 most collected items at beach cleanups. According to the International Coastal Cleanup 2018 report, plastic straws are ranked #7; Over 600,000 plastic straws and stirrers were found (that’s enough straws to reach the height of over 10,000 palm trees!).
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
In the USA alone, 500 million plastic straws are used daily. That’s an average of 1.6 straws per person per day. Based on this average, each person in the US will use approximately 35,000 or more straws between the ages of 5 and 65.
These numbers are not hard to believe if you’ve ever stood in line at a coffee shop and noticed that every cold drink, one by one, is served with a plastic straw. These straws are used once and tossed away within only a matter of minutes.
Plastic straws eventually end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life. By the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Terrifying, I know.
3. Most plastic waste NEVER goes away
In December of 2016, a little yogurt cup washed along a beach in Canada — not an unusual circumstance. What is unusual was the fact that this yogurt cup was commemorating the 1976 Olympics.
Plastic does not biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller pieces called ‘microplastics’. Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life because they can easily be mistaken for food.
Although plastic straws are not the only single-use plastics polluting our oceans and beaches, refusing to use them is a great way to support the plastic-free movement. In addition, many restaurants (and even governments!) around the globe have pledged to ban plastic straws, so now is the time to switch to reusable metal straws and #BYOS (Bring Your Own Straw) everywhere you go.
This year, make a personal commitment and say “No straw please” whenever ordering a drink. Check out the MTL STRW Bundle which has everything you need to make the switch!
In fact, here’s a little something for visiting our shop and reading our first blog post! Sign up to our mailing list and enjoy 10% OFF your first order with MTL STRW! Get your promo code here.
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