Does Banning Plastic Straws Really Help the Environment (Part I)?

Plastic straws are unnecessary toxins to our environment. 

You might have lately seen all the news articles about plastic straws. The small, harmless utensil that goes usually unnoticed in your everyday life has made it onto the most-wanted list.

If it’s surprising to learn that plastic straws are getting backlash, it might be even more surprising to learn that, according to a recent research study, over 90% of the plastic we use isn’t recycled and usually ends up in the ocean or landfills.

Due to statistics like that, some corporations and municipalities are beginning to make efforts to combat pollution. As part of that, they are planning to ban plastic straws.

Seattle was the 1st U.S. city to ban the use of plastic straws, plastic utensils, and stir sticks for vendors in the city. Straws made of compostable plastic or paper are still allowed. Also, the New York City Council recently presented legislation to cut out plastic straws by 2020. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors also passed a proposal to ban stirrers and plastic straws in the city.

Among corporations coming on board, Starbucks is one of the first worldwide top brands to announce it will be moving away from using plastic straws. In addition to converting to compostable straws, it will be distributing a new straw-free drink lid crafted for its regular cold-drink cups.

McDonald’s in the United Kingdom has already started the process of eliminating plastic straws from its stores and has set a goal to have all its beverage and food packaging materials be from recycled or renewable sources by 2025.

So, realizing that most straws, recycled or not, are expected to end up in our oceans, and understanding the number of straws being used every day, people cutting back on use can make a huge difference.