The Final Straw
I'm going to persuade you to boycott plastic straws in the one wee blog post. Are you ready?
So none of us really want to live lifestyles that are harmful for others outside of our eyesight. But the reality is that our love of convenience and disinterest in waste-disposal is pretty negative for the environment. That's why sustainable living is so great - it's this push to create habitual alternatives to our lifestyle-defaults that are conscious of how people/animals/the environment are affected by our choices.
Cue: the plastic straw. This is an item we use for about twenty minutes (that's how long it takes to finish a drink, right?) but it's built out of material which will last for hundreds of years minimum. That's a pretty unsustainable habit.
Here's why plastic straws suck (pun intended):
• They're one of the top ten items found washed up on beaches.
• They take about 200 years to decompose, and even then straws just break down to smaller fragments which are still harmful in our oceans.
• In the UK an average of 3.5 million McDonalds customers buy drinks with plastic straws every day.
• The US uses 500 million straws a day - that's enough straws to wrap around the world 2.5 times.
• Plastic straws are 'disposable plastic' which means they serve one function before we throw it away. All disposable plastics are worth boycotting!
In restaurants, bars and McDonalds, ask for your drink to come without a straw (even if you're just ordering water). These places will happily hand out straws unless you ask them not to.
What's all this fuss about disposable plastic? Glad you asked. The rate we're throwing away plastic is beyond what our landfills can handle, especially when you add to the equation that plastic takes hundreds of years to break down. In fact, we've created something that will never disappear (that's kind of scary).
This doesn't have empty consequences. People, businesses, mammals, fish and our oceans are affected by plastic pollution. There are fishermen whose income relies of the health of local fish. There are fishes and birds dying from hunger because their bellies are full of plastic which they can't digest.
There are coastal people whose livelihood relies on the tourist industry, but their beaches are littered with washed up plastic/waste from around the world. Our waste affects lots of facets of this world - let's use our influence an an opportunity to be conscientious and kind, not blind.