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Why Plastic Straws are Bad for the Environment

We are living in a generation that prefers easy and fast services and products. For this reason, we have made it our lifestyle to opt for single-use products because they are cheap to acquire and easy to dispose of. Most of these single-use products, for instance, straws, plastic cutlery, water bottles and plastic bags, are made of carelessly disposed of plastic.

Plastic takes a very long time to decompose, which means it remains in the universe for centuries. As it is burnt up by the sun, it releases toxic chemicals that cause respiratory diseases and other health complications to human beings. Plastic also affects other living organisms, such as marine life, in our society. Straws are made of plastic, they are single use and most end up in a landfill or water bodies.

Reasons why plastic straws are bad for the environment

1) They are commonly used

On average, people use over a million straws in a day. The straws may appear small, but they make up a huge amount of waste combined. Some people dispose of the straw in a trash can, but since they are lightweight, some are blown away by the wind.

Another group of people dispose the straws carelessly after use. Most of these straws end up in a landfill or littered across town and finally in the ocean. Most people assume they are small and have no much effect in society, but since they are popular, they end up being a problem in society. There are millions of straws on shorelines.

2) They are made of plastic

Straws are made of plastic and sadly most of them end up in an ocean or landfill. We all know plastics do not break down completely but instead turn into microplastics which are life-threatening especially to ocean life. Since they are small, most sea creatures, for instance, birds, fish and turtles, mistake them for food which can lead to suffocation and death. Most seabirds and turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs or nose. After ingesting plastic, marine life has a 50 percent chance of dying.

3) They are single use

Although plastic straws should technically be recycled, in reality they are not. Most often, people dispose carelessly after use and end up in a landfill or the ocean. Although there are straws that get to a recycling company, they do not make it through a mechanical recycling sorter because they are too lightweight. They contaminate recycling loads since they are too small, drop through sorting screens, and mix up with other materials. Sometimes, due to human error, straws are not recycled because they are too small and easily left behind, littered or blown out of trash cans.

4) They are a threat to wildlife

Plastic items take many years to decompose. This gives them enough time to affect wildlife. Ingesting plastic products such as straws can lead to suffocation, choking and death of wild animals and sea creatures. An animal that has ingested plastic has only 50 percent chance of surviving. Researchers say that, if we continue with the current use and improper disposal trend, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish in the next few years. For every sea creature that dies, tons of plastic waste are disposed of in the ocean.

Encouraging people to give up plastic straws and find other alternative is an easy step that will create a large impact. If you can have your drink without a straw, then do not use it. On the other hand, if you must use it, consider using more environmentally friendly straws such as paper or recyclable silicone straws. Most states have put a ban on the use of single plastic straw which is a good step towards saving our environment. However, it is important to remember that cleaning up the plastic straw in our environment is also important.

If you do not know where to start cleaning up plastic waste, such as straws, bags, and containers in your house, then contact Paul’s Rubbish Removal. With over a decade of experience, they will help to remove rubbish from your house or office at an affordable price.

Call today for a discount on your first rubbish removal over the phone at 0407 125 125!

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!

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