You may have noticed something missing at some of your favorite bars and restaurants recently, plastic straws.
Over the past few months what was once a whisper by environmental activists has now become a full on nationwide war cry calling for a ban on plastic straws.
The movement to oust plastic straws has spread across the U.S., from Miami Beach, where straws are now banned, to Malibu, where the prohibition also extends to single-use plastic utensils and stirrers with restaurants moving to either paper straws, bamboo straws or “no-straw” policies.
The anti-plastic-straw movement comes amid growing recognition of the environmental toll of all the single-use plastics that people throw out. The word has spread rapidly mostly because of recent social media campaigns using celebrities to ask people to stop using plastic, as well as a viral video of a sea turtle having a plastic straw extracted from its nostrils that has been viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube. (Seriously this video is so sad- you will never want to use a plastic straw again).
Straws are among the most common plastic items volunteers clean from beaches. The statistics are crazy- according to Go Straw Free Americans use and discard HALF A BILLION plastic straws every day. That many straws could wrap around the Earth 2½ times!
Plastic has become so common in oceans that it’s being found in large quantities in the bellies of sea birds, whales, and even fish sold at supermarkets. Environmental experts estimate that 5 trillion pieces of plastic are floating in the ocean, harming ecosystems and animals.
Ordering your drinks without straws is a small sacrifice but a big step to reducing the amount of plastic we produce and waste.
How can you help?
- Support restaurants that are embracing the change. Starbucks has pledged to be straw free by 2020 (you may have noticed the new sippy cup style lids) and my favorite spot California Pizza Kitchen, who’s yummy drinks are pictured below, is doing their part to cut down waste by only offering plastic straws upon request.
- BYOS- Bring your own straw. If you can’t completely say bye bye to straws try carrying a reusuable straw with you. I am a HUGE fan of Primal Ethic’s Bamboo Drinking Straws. They are sustainably sourced, reusable, natural, organic and biodegradable PLUS they look really cool, are super fashionable and a great conversation starter.
WOW…this is so interesting. I didn’t realize this but yet it seems so obvious and it makes sense. Enlightening others with the little things really does matter. Thank you!
A little thing can make such a big difference!
I think the environment is an important, but often overlooked issue in our society. I agree that plastic straws need to be limited, or at least be able to be reused more than once. Most drinks can be even be drunken without a straw, even most pop/sodas!
I totally agree!
I am so excited about this phemonenom and I hope it continues to spread. I am also definitely going to get those straws. I’ve been meaning to buy some reusable ones to keep in my purse and I like them because they’re bamboo. You mostly see stainless steel or silicone, which are good alternatives, but I like the idea of biodegrable straws too. Thanks for a great post! I will definitely share this!
Another reason I love these is that they come with a carrying bag to put them in and two cleaning brushes!
It’s so great that you can bring your own straws, I’ll have to check this brand out. We have glass straws that we use at home and which are great for smoothies!
You will love the Bamboo!
I didn’t know that Starbucks pledged to be straw free. I love the sippy cup idea!
Yeah I actually like the sippy cups better! The lids stay on!
Love the bamboo straws. The banning of plastic straw was quite big in London with some major newspaper getting involved too!
I fully agree and support this venture.
So glad to know Starbucks too is going to implement this.
This is a great move by the restaurants. Glad to see that social media brought on this much needed change. I really prefer to bring my own reusable straw too.
Pretty cool right!
I am totally supporting this. No more plastic straws for us from now on. Looking forward to seeing more people taking this move.
I never even knew that using straws was such a big deal. That story about the turtle really touched my heart. I will definitely try to do a better job of not using plastic straws in the future. Thanks for this article. It was very insightful!
It’s crazy how something so small can make such a big difference!
I am loving this push for not being wasteful! I love my reusable cups and straws!
So good right!
i think this a great movement overall! the world could do with less plastic!
I’ve seen that video, it’s so horrible all the trash and garbage in the water. I hope this straw thing spreads and more people go strapless or use plastic alternatives.