It’s light, simple, and super convenient. You use it once and then toss away. Then the next time you need it, you’d take another one and chuck it out minutes later. Sounds pretty normal, right? Sadly, plastic straws have become so deeply rooted in our culture that it’s by default:
Drink = Cup + Straw
Whether for drinks at a restaurant or on the go, we just take, drink, and then throw away. We do all these subconsciously, without realizing what toxins we could be putting into our body as well as the harm we bring to marine lives and other animals!
Watch Out For BPA In Your Plastic Straws
Do you have any idea of how many plastic straws are used in the U.S. in one single day?
In fact, that’s enough to fill 127 school buses each day and more than 46,400 school buses a year!
If only everyone can be educated about the hidden toxin of plastic straws – Bisphenol A, or BPA, we would have saved ourselves from many devastating problems. Most of you’d know that BPA is a potential hormone disruptor. It mimics the activity of estrogen, thereby disrupting and affecting how estrogen works with the other hormones in your body. Despite the fact that it’s linked to breast and prostate cancer, BPA can still be found virtually everywhere, including the plastic straws you are using every day!
Is there a way to know whether you’re using a BPA-free straw?
It’s nearly impossible. Just grab a straw and look at it…you won’t find anything stamped on there that indicates it’s “BPA-free”. You may find the “BPA-free” label on the actual box or wrapping but don’t use another straw until you’ve read what we’re about to tell you.
Stop Using Straws. You’re Killing Lives!
As insignificant as it may look, the number of straws thrown out actually builds up. In fact, plastic straws are one of the top 10 marine debris found in beaches and oceans, contributing to over one million deaths of seabirds. Here we are only talking about the number of seabirds that are victimized, excluding the fish, whales, seals, and other marine mammals that fall prey each year.
Have you already seen or heard about the unfortunate sea turtle that had a plastic straw lodged deep in one of his nostrils? If you haven’t, watch the video here
What’s even scarier about plastic straws is that, people can throw them away without much thought because they are so insignificant. However, because they don’t biodegrade, they just photo degrades into smaller and smaller pieces and once ingested by marine and land animals, they could get into our food chain!
What You Can Do Right Now To Help
Basically, just use LESS of the plastic straws. As insignificant as they may seem, they build up like we mentioned earlier.
- When the waiter offers you a straw with your drink, say NO to it.
- Spread the news about the dangers of plastic straws
- Use plastic straw alternatives!
Thankfully, there has already been some awareness of the plastic straw issue and so you will easily find plastic straw alternatives on the market – GLASS straws!
Make sure you find one that’s heat resistant for warmer drinks; and highly durable so it doesn’t break easily! If you still like to use a straw, try out the glass straws and feel good knowing that you’re not throwing away another plastic straw into the environment!
Bailey, Kate. “FAQs and Links | Milo’s Be Straw Free Campaign.” Ecocycle.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
Martinko, Katherine. “How to Banish Plastic Straws from Your Life Forever.” TreeHugger. N.p., 21 Sept. 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
Scher / AlterNet, Robin. “It’s Time to Stop Using Plastic Drinking Straws: They Harm Wildlife and Are Bad for the Environment (Video).” Alternet. N.p., 25 Oct. 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.