Thursday, March 29, 2018

BLOG: Skip the Straw

by Jennifer Wemhoff, The Groundwater Foundation

You're out to dinner with your family. You order a nice, cold glass of water to drink with your meal. The server brings your glass, and plunks down plastic straws for you and each of your family members. You open it without another thought, add it to your drink, and slurp away.

That straw may be convenient, but once your drink is done, that straw is part of the 500 million plastic straws used in the U.S. every single day. That's enough to fill 127 school buses or circle the earth 2.5 times. That means the average person in the U.S. will use about 38,000 or more straws between the ages of 5 and 65. 

Plastic straws don't decompose and are generally too lightweight to make it through a recycling facility's sorter, meaning they end up in a landfill for all eternity or find their way into a water body. Once they're in the water, they break down into small pieces that marine life mistake for food (71% of seabirds and 30% of sea turtles have found with plastic in their stomach). 

It's not a good situation all around.

So what can you do?

It's easy - skip the straw! Simply tell your server you don't want straws when you're dining out with your family. At home, opt for reusable straws (find some cool plastic alternatives). Ask your friends and family to do the same.
Here are some great resources to help convince you to quit plastic straws:

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