Markus recently made us aware of the impact of plastic straws and how we can all play our part.
We wanted to dig deeper and learn why Plastic Straws are so detrimental to the environment … the results are frightening.
A small, plastic straw – It’s something that comes with most beverages that we order, from soft drinks to even a glass of water.
Though at first this small straw may not seem like a lot, when its usage is added up, plastic straws create a big problem for the environment.
The major impact of plastic straws is on marine life. Straws are the 11th most found ocean trash item and it takes 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose.
Each year 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from ingesting plastic.
Every straw we refuse to use will help to reduce these statistics.
3 FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC STRAWS
1. Plastic Straws can’t be easily Recycled
Straws are most commonly made from type 5 plastic, or polypropylene.
Although type 5 plastic can be recycled, it isn’t accepted by most curbside recycling programs. When plastic straws aren’t recycled, they end up in landfills, or even worse, polluting our oceans.
2. Plastics do not Biodegrade, and never fully Degrade
In order to understand the environmental impact of straws, it is important to know the difference between biodegrading and degrading:
Biodegrading is when an item can be naturally broken down and digested by micro-organisms, and then naturally recycled into new organic molecules and life.
On the other hand, degrading is just the process of breaking down into smaller pieces. When plastic degrades, the bulk of the plastic will seem to disappear – However, what’s really happening is the plastic is breaking into smaller, invisible pieces that will always still be on Earth.
With that being said, plastic straws take up to 200 years to degrade, but will never be fully off the Earth, as plastics are not biodegradable. To make matters worse, the degrading of plastic releases chemicals that are toxic to wildlife and the environment.
3. Straws are littered very often, and harm Ocean Wildlife
Whenever there is an ocean coastline cleanup, plastic straws never fail to make it on the list of one of the most found ocean litter.
And, as of early 2018, data from Ocean Conservancy’s TIDES system shows us that straws/stirrers are the 11th most found ocean trash in cleanups, making up about 3% of recovered trash.
All these straws and plastic polluting our oceans is having a negative impact on marine life.
For those who need to use straws, a small $3 at Kmart can fix the problem!
Next time you are in Kmart, why not pick up this 4 pack of metal straws … https://www.kmart.com.au/product/4-pack-metal-straws/2238328
Thanks Markus for making us aware of this problem so we can do our bit to help.