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Plastic Straw Pollution and Why You Should Stop Sucking

plastic straw pollution


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We’re counting down to Earth Day by sharing facts and offering the best reusable solutions at a discount and through giveaways to get you started. This week let’s talk about plastic straw pollution and why you should stop sucking.

plastic straw pollution

Get the Facts: Plastic Straw Pollution

Plastic Straw Numbers are Staggering

Single-use plastic straws have been a symbol of our out-of-control dependence on plastic ever since a 2018 video of a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose went viral. Americans use an shocking 500 million plastic straws every day, enough to wrap around the planet 2.5 times. It’s estimated that 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches. The average American uses 35,000 plastic straws in a lifetime. It’s time to stop sucking.

Does a Small Plastic Straw Really Matter?

There is no doubt that our planet is polluted by other larger forms of plastic, like fishing nets and plastic bottles, but plastic straws are important because they’re so easy to do without. Disposable straws often get “wish-cycled” and eventually go straight to landfills and incinerators (or litter our communities and waterways). Because they are small and lightweight, they don’t pass through recycling systems correctly and end up contaminating recycling loads. Like other single-use plastic, disposable straws break down into tiny micro-plastic particles, further polluting the environment, injuring animals, and impacting human health. Unfortunately, compostable straws follow this same path, and will only break down properly at a specific composting facility.

The Growing Trend to Ban Plastic Straws

The plastics industry tells us we should focus on waste collection to prevent plastic pollution, but we know that’s like trying to bail a bathtub when the faucet is on full force. It’s time to turn off the tap. Thankfully, awareness is growing, facts about plastic pollution are making headlines—and bans are being implemented around the world.

Bans on plastic straws are in effect in places like California, Seattle, New York City, Chicago, Miami, Vancouver, Taiwan and Britain, and with companies including Starbucks, IKEA, SeaWorld, Alaska Airlines, Hilton Hotels and Royal Caribbean. Check out this interactive map to see which states, cities, hotels and national parks have banned plastic straws.

reusable straws

Flash Sale + Giveaway

The good news? You can easily reduce plastic straw pollution. Head over to the U-Konserve Instagram to enter our Earth Day Countdown Giveaways, and ukonserve.com to get details about our Earth Day Countdown Flash Sales. Buy once, refill forever!