It is estimated that we use approximately 8.5 billion plastic straws every year. A single-use item with an average use of 20 minutes will remain on this planet forever. This excessive use of plastic straws is causing great damage to the environment, especially the ocean. It is estimated that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans every year. This means that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
So why are plastic straws so bad? First, they are difficult to recycle. Because they are small and light, they are often withdrawn from the sorter and mixed with other materials. Although plastics can be recycled, they eventually flow into the ocean due to human error due to their massive use around the world. They are scattered on the ground, left on the beach, blown into the ocean by the wind, or into the ocean through clogged holes and drains. Plastic straws are featured in the list of the top ten items found in the cost cleanup. Some plastic straws also contain BPA and cannot be recycled. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics since the 1960s.
In 2015, marine biologist Christine Feigner filmed a video of the now infamous plastic straw coming from the nose of a sea turtle. Although this video inspired many people to abandon plastic straws, sea turtles are not the only animals affected.
Plastic is not biodegradable. It breaks down into smaller pieces called microplastics, which are more dangerous to marine life. According to StrawlessOcean.org, plastic is found in the stomachs of approximately 71% of seabirds and 30% of sea turtles. Once plastic is ingested, the survival rate of marine life is only 50%. Many aquatic animals tend to eat plastic garbage and ingest microplastics because the fragments may be smaller than 5 mm.
Microplastics have even been found in fish and shellfish for human consumption. They can also be ingested through the entire food chain, from zooplankton to seabirds and whales. Research has also shown that they can adversely affect growth and reproduction.
According to the Marine Conservation Association, microplastics in the marine environment can carry organic micropollutants, such as non-ethylphenols (endocrine disruptors), and secondary pollutants absorbed from seawater, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (polychlorinated biphenyls). ) And dichlorodichloroethylene (DDEs). These toxins may be introduced into animal tissues and food chains as seafood consumers. It is estimated that European seafood consumers consume an average of 11,000 plastic pellets each year.
The full consequences of this on human health are not yet fully understood, although a recent study pointed out that “Although the understanding of the environmental and human health effects and related costs is far from complete, there are already good reasons to take action.
Our paper straws are 100% plastic-free. Some paper straws imported from China contain microplastics in their glue. We have ensured that the glue we use is absolutely free of plastic. Our straws are fully biodegradable and they can be composted or recycled. If the unthinkable happens and our straws find themselves in the ocean, they will not harm the marine environment because they will biodegrade within six to eight weeks.
With this information, let’s not wait any longer, make a change, the world will thank you.