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Plastic Straws Affecting the Ocean

Plastic Straws are affecting our oceans and planet everyday. By getting a metal straw, you can help make a change.

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Plastic Straws Affecting the Ocean

By recycling and limiting plastic straws, we can keep our ocean looking clean.

By recycling and limiting plastic straws, we can keep our ocean looking clean.

Molly Cupp

By recycling and limiting plastic straws, we can keep our ocean looking clean.

Molly Cupp

Molly Cupp

By recycling and limiting plastic straws, we can keep our ocean looking clean.

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Plastic straws are very popular, but are slowly starting to decline with the metal straw becoming popular.

Today, it is impossible to go to a restaurant that doesn’t give straws.  Most restaurants hand out plastic, but some are starting to hand out paper straws. 500 million plastic straws are used by Americans daily–that’s enough straws to circle around the earth 2.5 times! Today, plastic straws are the eighth most found ocean trash and it takes up to two-hundred years for plastic straws to decompose. Each year, 100,000 marine animals die from plastic in the ocean.

Since straws are made up of type five plastic or polypropylene, they cannot be easily recycled. Even though type five plastic can be recycled, it isn’t accepted by most programs

to be recycled. When plastic isn’t recycled, it ends up polluting our ocean and marine animals. Plastic straws have been affecting turtles and seabirds the most. For example: turtles are swallowing straws and trying to cough them out, but choke on them instead. Also, one million seabirds are dying each year because they pick the straws up from the ocean, start suffocating on them, then die.

 

Plastic straws take over two hundred years to degrade. Since plastic straws are not biodegradable, the degrading of plastic straws releases chemicals in the environment that are toxic to wildlife.  The degrading of plastic straws is also causing the plastic turn into little pieces and become invisible in the ocean. Too thin to be recycled, they usually end up making it into the trash, and from there to the ocean.

Molly Cupp

By taking one step everyday, plastic wont be easily going into the ocean.

Many restaurants and fast food places are turning to paper straws and lids that don’t require straws. For example, Starbucks has come out with a lid that doesn’t require the use of a straw and is made from polypropylene, making the lid easily recyclable, and is also saying that in 2020, they will turn to biodegradable straws instead of plastic ones. Starbucks is aware of the problem that most recycling plants don’t recycle straws since they are too lightweight to catch.  McDonald’s, Marriott Hotels, and American Airlines are also turning to biodegradable straws.

Many people worldwide are becoming aware of the dangers happening to our ocean and trying to help by banning certain items. For example: California, Rwanda, China, Kenya, and Bangladesh banned plastic bags. France banned plastic plates, cups, utensils along with plastic bags. San Francisco banned polystyrene, including beach toys, food containers, and Styrofoam cups. Rhode Island banned balloons because 2,200 balloons were picked up on the shore in the last four years. Plastic straws are the main reason the ocean is polluting, but reducing all plastic is a great start to ending it.

These are just some of the plastic beach toys that are banned.

Lawmakers in Florida, Missouri, Idaho, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Indiana have been persuaded to pass a legislation outlawing the plastic bag ban. Some argue that, “Replacement products can cause more environmental harm than plastic products”. Some also argue that people who claim objects are recyclable, turn out not to be. While San Francisco banned Styrofoam cups, paper cups became a big source of litter.

There are many ways you can make a change. Start using reusable products and make sure you recycle. Try to avoid plastic straws at all costs by denying a plastic straw while out. Also, if you see trash or plastic that had been littered, recycle or throw it away. There is also a new alternative you can purchase to help decrease pollution in the ocean: metal straws are available for purchase and are sold worldwide.

Metal straws have been becoming popular since 2015 when a video of a turtle choking on a plastic straw  became viral. Metal straws today are very easy to purchase, whether online or in stores, and are also very cheap. You can also purchase cases that can connect to your key chain, in which a straw folds up, ready to be used anywhere, any time.

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By keeping turtles happy and healthy we should be recycling and keeping our ocean clean.

People daily are realizing what is happening to the ocean, marine and wild life. All are suffering and  people are only making it worse. We can help by posting about it or making campaigns. By banning plastic worldwide and coming up with alternatives, we can help the ocean, animals, and the world day by day.

Lafayette high school students Senior Lazuli Cristol and Junior Jada Hines, both agree that its ridiculous that today, in the modern world, we are still using as much plastic straws as we do.  Jada also stated, “We need to find a different material for straws, such as hard cardboard and slowly transition.” Clearly, plastic is hard to recycle and is only hurting our planet.

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Plastic Straws Affecting the Ocean