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Plastic straws are single-use throwaway items (plastic water bottles, to-go food containers, plastic cutlery, and plastic-lined coffee cups).
It means you use these items for around 4-6 minutes and then discard it. This creates a huge problem because straws don’t biodegrade into soil again; they eventually turn into microplastics, entering the food chain.
One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches.
In the U.S. alone it is estimated that we use 500 million straws every day.
Most of us have seen the turtle’s footage that had a straw stuck in its nose—what a devastating little clip. If you haven’t seen it here, you go!
Biologist Christine Figgener took this video, and it took two years for people to take action and start banning straws.
Three years later, straws are being banned in major cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and even the so heavily polluting Starbucks has promised to stop using plastic straws and opt-in for better lids.
Starbucks plans to phase out plastic straws by 2020. McDonald’s recently announced it would ban plastic straws at its U.K. and Ireland restaurants. Bon Appétit Management, a food service company with 1,000 U.S. locations, announced last May it will phase out plastic straws. Alaska Airlines will be one of the first airlines to phase out plastic straws and stirrers, in part thanks to an environmentally conscious girl scout. ~ national geographic
The next step on your journey to zero waste is to say “No to Straws”.
Perhaps easier for the adult to adapt than for our children. But if you really must use straws, there are great alternatives to these little plastic suckers.
Luckily, more companies out there actually have morals and the right ethics to make a product with a small to zero impact on the planet.
Please take a look at HAY straws; they are what they sound like HAY. Natures straws. All the company does is wash and sterilize them, and you are ready to suck on those, cool right.
How about bamboo straws? I love them. Another example of mother nature is making it easier for us humans to drink out of a glass.
Although they can get pretty soft pretty quick, we have paper straws, and personally, I’m not too fond of the way they feel on my lips.
You can get silicon straws, but I’d rather not, even though the FDA approves silicon as food safe. If it is not natural in most cases, it is not the safest of all products.
Then there is the stainless steel straw. Personally, I like them best because you can’t really break them.
Glass straws are also a nice alternative but not so good when traveling around because they can break.
So there are a lot of straws out there. As you can see, you have plenty of alternatives to the standard plastic straw. I say go ahead and add one to your survival kit.
Best places to buy your straws are:Sip sustainably with this Women-Owned, 1% for the Planet donor and award-winning B-Corp!
Snap a pick of you drinking your favourite beverage with a sustainable straw and the #zerowasteman
6 thoughts on “Say “No” to Straws”
This site definitely inspired me to make more of an effort to work towards wasting less.
If you had one tip for a newbie to cut down on their waste output, what would it be?
Are there any charities you support or can recommend in your mission to achieve zero waste?
Any books you can recommend on the topic also?
Hi Will, great questions. In Day 7 you will find answers to both of your questions. However, I will add more charities to the page. Thanks for your input.
Did you ever notice in life you hear about something for the first time, and then all of a sudden you hear it again shortly thereafter? Well, the other night we were visiting my daughter Paige at the bar she bartends at, and I asked for a straw for my drink. She said, “Really, Mom? You want to destroy the planet?” I’m like, “what are you talking about?” I honestly didn’t think using a straw was any kind of problem. Anyway, she started telling me about the information you presented here in this article, which I had no idea of the impact these straws were making.
Then I’m looking at sites, and I come across this article about the exact same thing. I heard about it for the first time two days ago, and now I’m reading about it again. I think God is telling me to pay attention to this. So I definitely will.
In fact, I’m going to tell her to show her bosses your article, and instead of yelling at customers for using straws, she can offer a more environmentally-friendly version if they need one.
Haha, yeah yelling at your customers might only scare them away, but not change the way they consume. The first step, in my opinion, is to educate people and this is my aim here at the zero waste man. I was also shocked when I first learned about this and I was even more surprised how little most of us know about it. Please share the content and I hope your daughter can get some useful tips out of this too.
I tried to find your name on almost everywhere on your website, but I think you love to be called Zero Waste Man. So Hi, ZWM.Thanks for the thought provoking article on not to use straws. Simple and Deep – you left the impression. Henceforth whenever I will see a straw, you will be in my mind.
It’s a very nobel thought to take care of mother nature by taking such simple steps to say No to Straw. I really could sence the pain of turtle in eight minutes video. Thanks for sharing the content.
Please tell how microplastic, which enters the food chain, affect the nature or quality of food?
Hi Gaurav, and thanks for your comment. If you would like to learn more about microplastic and how to avoid it, please check out this article. If you are concerned about the food we consume that contains microplastic and what you can do, please check out this article. Thanks, Hendrik 🙂