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Plastic Straws


Dangerous for Aquatic Life and U.S Coastal Lines 

Every time you purchase your favorite drink at a restaurant or serve customers a cold beverage you are polluting the planet. Millions of single-use plastic straws are produced and consumed for consumers who want minor convenience. Although single-use plastic straws can provide a smooth experience for consumers who want to enjoy their favorite drink, single-use plastic straws can also be harmful to the environment. Companies who want to provide a smooth experience for consumers are also producing products at their own expense. The next time you purchase a plastic straw with your favorite drink you may want to think about better alternatives. 

                                                Convenience with Long Term Impacts

Single-use plastic straws offer minor convenience but with long term impacts on the environment. Single-use plastic straws are difficult to throw away after they are used. Just one single-use plastic straw can take hundreds or even thousands of years to get rid of. This creates a difficult situation that is often hard to solve. Plastic straws have a difficult time breaking down into the soil. This is because single-use plastic straws are not compostable or biodegradable. Many single-use plastic straws are made out of chemicals like microplastics. Microplastics do not compost. When they break into the soil they release dangerous and toxic chemicals into the environment. Although many researchers have studied single-use plastic straws and their impact on the environment, many businesses and consumers continue to produce and use single-use plastic straws. According to statistics single-use plastic straws still make up ninety ninety nine percent out of three billion dollars of the global straw market.  


                                                               Coastal Lines 

After just one use many consumers will throw away plastic straws. Many of these straws are washed away by stormwater runoff and placed near water bodies like U.S coastal lines. When it rains or snows, rainfall and snowmelt turn into stormwater runoff and wash them into watersheds or storm drains. Or they are directly washed into a U.S coastal line. Eventually they will flow into the water and pollute it. Aquatic animals will choke on the straws and microplastics are released into the environment. Even when consumers throw away their straws they are still polluting the environment. Single-use plastic straws that are in landfills can release microplastics into the soil and the ground water. The ground water can carry chemicals from microplastics to water bodies. Experts predict that there will be more single-use plastic than fish by twenty fifty. This is yet another reason why consumers should avoid single-use plastic straws. 

                                                          Compostable Straws

There are many options consumers can choose from instead of using single-use plastic straws. This may depend on how a consumer will choose to throw away their straw. Compostable straws can break down quickly. They have organic material that can make the compost process easier. However, it is important to remember to check the label. Some compostable straws need to go to compost facilities. Other compostable straws can be composted at home. A few examples of compostable straws include straws that are made out of corn, paper, or bamboo. A consumer’s choice may depend upon how sturdy they need their straw to be.  


                                                                        Steel or Metal Straws

Another option consumers can choose from is sustainable steel or metal straws. Steel or metal straws can be used multiple times. This will prevent consumers from purchasing single-use plastic straws. Steel and metal straws are strong and also offer a smooth experience for consumers. This can be a great way to save businesses money and help the environment. Businesses will no longer need to purchase hundreds or thousands of single-use plastic straws for consumers.


                                                            Sip Don’t Splurge 

The best option consumers can choose is to skip straws. Consumers can still have a smooth experience without using a straw. It is okay to sip from the cup rather than polluting the environment. Single-use plastic straws do not offer a smooth experience when consumers know that they are harmful to their environment. A minor convenience is not worth the long term impacts single-use plastic straws have on the environment. There are smarter options that offer a smooth experience with less harm to the environment. 

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