I’m sure some of you never even give little things like a straw a second thought! But….I do….and because I do, I’m going to blog in the hopes that maybe you’ll read it and feel inspired to make a small change.
Let’s take a wee look at straws in more detail.
Straws are made up from polypropylene, which is a form of petroleum; colourants (self explanatory); plasticizers (to make the straws flexible) and antioxidants.
A straw has an average lifespan of 20 minutes!!! Yes, you read that right….20 whole minutes of use, before being thrown in the bin! Isn’t that shocking?
I really really struggled to find data for the Uk specifically, but it doesn’t make these numbers any less horrific!
500 million straws are disposed of EVERY DAY in the USA alone! Let me put that into some perspective….end-to-end they would circle the earth TWO AND A HALF times!! 😲
So, what’s my point? Straws are plastic, so can be recycled, right? Well…yeah, that’s technically right, but the thing is….straws are very difficult to recycle due to their shape and size. Often they’re not recycled at the point of binning them because it’s just too much like hard work. Think of McDonalds…. (other fast food chains are available)….think of bars, little cocktail straws. They’re mostly just binned.
So, in terms of the environment, up to 43% of all plastics end up in land fill! And…shockingly…250’000 tonnes (hard to imagine, I know, so allow me to give you a wee visual….imagine 570 cram-packed boeing 747s!) of single use plastics end up in our oceans every year.
Inevitably, these plastics end up in the stomach’s of our marine life. One out of every three turtles have consumed marine plastic! 😫
So, what can you do? How the hell does one drink their coke zero from their take away cup without the straw??
Hmmm….let’s ponder it a second. 🤔
Ok, I’m going to go a bit way out here and suggest this….just hear me through….take the lid off (also single use plastic!) and sip it right out the top, using ye’r lips??
Or….if you’re a true mentalist like me, you could carry straws in your non leather handbag! 😂
If you need more of a reason that all of the above….plastic surgeons say sooking through a straw gives you ‘smokers lips’….so, if you can’t make the change for cleaner air, land and oceans…do it for vanity!
Or…for me! 😋