Plastic straws have stirred up a bit of controversy lately around the US. This is due mainly because of its impact they have on the environment. After all, Americans use about 500 million straws each day. Recently many states have begun banning plastic straws and requiring that restaurants and citizens use paper straws instead. But is this ban necessary or even a good thing?
Before we get into the debate we feel it’s important to provide full disclosure of our new sister site: StrawsShop.com. Our new website is quickly becoming a hit with bars and restaurants across the country. But while we encourage our customers to order paper straws, we don’t force them to. Provide the option to purchase plastic straws as well.
What you decide to do is your choice and hopefully after this article you’ll be able to make a decision for yourself.
The Case Against Plastic Straws
Straws are most commonly made from type 5 plastic, and as we might of learned from school, plastics do not biodegrade and never fully degrade. This means that plastic straws can take up to 200 years to break down but never fully leave the earth. Data from Ocean Conservancy’s TIDES system shows that straws are the 11th most found ocean trash in cleanups. Recently scientists from Costa Rica found a sea turtle with what they thought was a parasitic worm blocking its airway. Sadly for the turtle, they quickly realized it was actually a plastic straw. And if this was found by one group of scientists, you can only imagine how many other cases are out there. Other studies have showed that we could have more pollution in our oceans than sea-life in a few years. If this is true, it becomes very alarming.
The Case For Plastic Straws
So it’s a closed case right? Plastic straws should be banned? Actually some argue this case isn’t closed shut. For example, many people with disabilities view plastic straws as a matter of life or death. Those with mobility issues use plastic straws and toss them away when done. The problem with reusable straws is having to wash them which not all people with disabilities can do easily. Even if they could, reusable straws can still become germ ridden. Others argue this will just create more waste. According to Forbes.com “Paper goods, the most likely alternative to EPS, create more waste and water and air pollution than EPS does.”
So what’s the solution? Well, that’s something for you to decide. Do your research and decide what’s best for you personally and your beliefs. Regardless of the type of straw you pick, we will have them available to purchase on our websites!