People have become aware of the fact that our current consumption rates are unsustainable in terms of the sheer amount of waste we’re producing. Most of our trash ends up in landfills and the ocean.
This, in turn, endangers wildlife, negatively impacts our delicate ecology and trickles down adversely affecting our health.
Switching to a more sustainable option will not only reduce the strain you put on the environment but will also help to save human and animal lives.
But how exactly would switching to stainless steel drinking straws help you reduce your environmental impact?
Why Plastic Straws Suck
While we all know that plastic is bad for the environment, there are some plastics that are worse. This is the case for the plastic straw. This hyper-disposable form of plastic is unrecyclable due to the size and shape of the product.
Considering that most recycling centers do not have specialized plastic grinders that can catch straws, the plastic straws simply slip through the cracks and end up in a landfill regardless.
Another reason why plastic straws suck is their “use-life”. On average, plastic straws are used for 20 minutes before being discarded. This is why in the US over 500 million plastic straws are consumed daily. Irrespective of where you go, they are offered nearly at every point of sale including bars, restaurants, and fast food joints.
Also, it’s important to note that the 500 million figure relates only to the United States. Globally, the rate of consumption is even higher.
In fact, when they did a survey on the top discarded items found on beaches, the plastic straw made the list. This is why a social movement to ban the straw or to “hold the straw” emerged.
People no longer could ignore the problem of their over-consumption of plastic straws.
A video where a piece of a straw was stuck in the nose of an endangered sea turtle cemented the movement on Social Media. Getting more than 10 million views, people started taking action. Including many different restaurants and eateries decided to discard the straw altogether.
How Switching to Stainless Steel Drinking Straws Helps
While stainless steel straws aren’t the only alternatives to plastic straws, they do provide longevity and durability. By simply buying and using reusable drinking straws, you will immediately cut out your consumption of plastic straws — thus saving the lives of i.e. the poor sea turtle in the video above.
We don’t know how many animals have died as a result of our negligence (as we use and discard plastic straws in both water and land).
While the amount compared to the enormous number of 500 million per day, might seem insignificant, these small actions compound when done in masses.
More importantly, when you’re out in public objecting to the use of plastic straws by merely telling your people to “hold the straw”, you’ll be creating social awareness on the topic.
We’re not saying you need to become an environmental warrior, but a simple change can influence those within your immediate social network.
Taking a firm stance on something as unnecessary as plastic straws is the first step towards helping the planet. Don’t try to convince others, simply be the change and inspire others to follow suit.