Stop Sucking with Straws

When you order a coke or drink at a cafe, restaurant, bar, or fast-food chain, you sure look for your straw which sadly is of plastic, by default. The use of straws has become incredibly common these days and most of us enjoy using them without even thinking of the waste we create. Have you ever thought about where all these straws come from or where they go when we’re done using them? I’m sure by now you have seen the disturbing video of a sea turtle with a straw up its nose and the difficulty faced to remove it. If it broke your heart to see it please stop sucking with straws made of plastic. They may seem like a small, fun addition to your drink but they are a big hazard to our environment.

Stop Sucking with Straws made of plastic

If you are an individual, team, or organization who wants to make a difference towards eco-friendly living, and want to cut your plastic footprint – begin by saying NO to plastic straws. Discarding plastic straws is one of the easier, simplest, and quickest ways you can take to tackle plastic pollution. You may not be aware, but now there’s an initiative to #StopSucking, a challenge where you can still enjoy your cocktail without a straw.

These lightweight plastic-made straws are absolutely wasteful, they need the energy to manufacture than the distribution of such vast volumes of plastic which are of single use for just a matter of minutes. There’s a growing movement waking up to the fact that plastic straws suck! We sure need to reduce the amount of single-use plastic straws.

Adrian Grenier, co-founder of Lonely Whale says “We bleed 10 million tons of plastic into the ocean every single year,”. Even if plastic straws are just a small fraction of that – but it’s a great place to start. “We’re asking people to just make one small change and make it part of their habit,” Grenier says. Just like someone orders a soft drink possibly adding “no ice please,” or a coffee “without milk and sugar, please,” Grenier and his fellow activists are urging people ordering a drink to include the request “no straw, please.”

Just like the lonely whale, The Last Straw is campaigning to end the use of plastic straws around Australia, and the initiative ‘Last Plastic Straw’in the US has picked the examples of straws to educate the public about the absurdity of single-use plastic in general.

Reasons to say no to plastic straws

Plastic Straws harm marine wildlife & pollute ecosystems

We all are well aware that plastic straws in the oceans are bad for marine wildlife. Not only do they get stuck up turtles’ noses or other aquatic body parts, which causes pain and distress. Also they’re mistaken for food by seabirds and even fed to their chicks, or sucked up by fish and marine mammals when they’re feeding.

Plastic in the ocean indirectly enters our food chain as it also absorbs other pollutants present in the water, increasing its toxicity for the animals who eat it, and further consumption too.

Plastic straw are not bio-degradable, and expose us to unhealthy toxic chemicals

Furthermore, using a plastic straw is not the healthiest way to sip your drink. A recent study says – Plastic can be thought of as a magnet, and a toxic one because it attracts other chemicals and bacteria in the ocean waters. Plastic straws contain polypropylene and Bisphenol A (BPA), which both leach dangerous chemicals. If the plastic is left out in the heat, the effects of the chemicals are worsened.

Platic straws are difficult to recyle, even if used for minutes, here for centuries, piling up daily

You might be shocked to know that 50% of plastic manufactured globally today is single-use plastic. The widespread adoption of a ‘convenience lifestyle’ where the average person discards several pieces of disposable plastic every day (such as packaging, serve-ware, and straws) is playing a huge part in the worsening ocean plastic crisis. Most plastic straws simply break into ever-smaller particles, releasing chemicals into the soil, air, and water that are harmful to animals, plants, people, and the environment.

Like most single-use plastic, straws are not able to be efficiently recycled due to their low value and the difficulty in capturing them in a closed-loop system.

The only way to turn off the flow of single-use plastic accumulating every day in our oceans, and destined to remain there for centuries, is to stop using it.

Dental Problems

Drinking sugary or acidic beverages through a straw can increase the chances of developing cavities

To add on, While sipping from the straw, a person also ingests excess air which is called aerophagia. The air enters into the digestive tract causing gas and bloating. 

If you are concerned about your wrinkles then immediately stop using straws. Drinking juices from a straw on a regular basis can cause wrinkles, especially around your mouth. You are more likely to develop a “pucker line”, similar to what smokers get from smoking cigarettes.

Ways to stop sucking plastic

and WHAT you can use instead…

Skip the straw and Start sipping

It’s not impossible to enjoy your drink without the need for a straw. In fact, most of the times straws serve no purpose in a drink like cocktails, mocktails, or cold drinks and smoothies. It is better to artfully decorate your drink with fruit and herbs instead of plastic straws. I have stopped asking for straws long back and I still enjoy my drinks fully. In fact, now I get annoyed to see a drink having plastic straws. So from now onwards if you’re ordering the drinks, try to remember to say ‘no straw please’ and Stop Sucking with Straws of plastic.

It’s important to understand that toxic chemicals in single-use plastic straws are bad for you and the environment. Drinking from a reusable glass straw is hands-down better than plastic. Everything you drink tastes better and glass straws are sturdy.

Switch to reusable steel, glass or bamboo straws

If you really do prefer to use a straw, the most eco-friendly options are reusable straws made of stainless steel, glass, or even bamboo.

I simple way to reduce the use of straws can be if the cafe or restaurant starts to charge extra for drinks served with straws. Instead, promote reusable straws and ensure they are returned before the customer leaves your premises. It’s not that difficult to clean or carry a straw. Give it a try and reduce single-use straws. Naturally biodegradable paper straws (coated in natural beeswax) are the best disposable straw solution.

Carry the confidence

Carrying your own straw will give you satisfaction and a responsible feeling. Your one small step can make a huge difference, as people will notice and try to reconsider your actions. It’s easy to pop the straw back home and clean it properly to carry again. So stop sucking with straws made of plastic.

To sum up, This is my conscious lifestyle post to spread more awareness on sustainable living. It’s Sustainable September, join me for more such ways and tips and become part of my Conscious and sustainable living ideas. Visit my blog and make yourself conscious and aware of being more concerned for our environment, and alter your lifestyle. Have you checked ways of Teaching children importance of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle on Green consumer day? This post is a part of Cause-a-Chatter by Blogchatter.

Being Eco-Friendly is not a choice, make it a habit.

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28 Responses

  1. Recently I read one article on “The Last Straw” Campaign, I am so glad to read it again by you Pragun. I appreciate your efforts to make us aware of every contribution we can go for, to make the environment better for the coming generation!

  2. Deepika Sharma says:

    Omg i knew of a few ill effects but your post is so enlightening. The detail in which you have spoken about the campaigns and the hazards shows how passionately you feel for the subject. Kudos to you
    Deepika

  3. When I found out what straws do to marine life and the environment, I was horrified! I immediately got myself steel straws and carry them with me . This post is a must-read for everyone and will help them make better choices.

  4. Aesha Shah says:

    Glad you are writing about using sustainable products. We have to make conscious choices.

  5. jenifer says:

    True. Make it a habit. I have stopped using straws. A small change can lead to big change.

  6. Satabdi says:

    I carry stainless steel straws in my handbag as a matter of habit. We drink a lot of coconut water when out.

    I prefer to sip my drinks instead of sucking them through straws.

    A very well-written article!

  7. Abha Singh says:

    Yes I agree we should stop using plastic straw and we can do this easily. I started using glass straw, you can wash and reuse it. Good for us and for environment.

  8. Loved the video and your post! So glad that your son is a little crusader for mother Earth. I showed the post and video to my kids and they completely agree with it.

  9. Quite an important post as its very important to use products which have a very long term sustainable impact on the environment.

  10. Sivaranjini says:

    Being with nature and safeguarding is something that we all have to do I am proud that you do it with your little hero.

  11. MeenalSonal says:

    Pragun , this post is a reminder for us yet again that we need to switch to the environment friendly products, and adding an ill effect to human will surely bring a change as humans don’t switch unless it effects them directly.

  12. Cindy Dsilva says:

    This is a good post. I thought this was the same in India too until I went to Whitefiled the other day and found a juice shop giving plastic straws.

  13. Pratibha says:

    You’re absolutely right when you say raising eco-friendly is not a choice, but a habit. And it’s important to instill that habit in children so that they are aware of how to conserve the natural resources starting now.

  14. Deepti says:

    What a wonderful article, Pragun! Being eco friendly is a habit that should be inculcated in all, starting with children. If straws can be so harmful, imagine how much of plastic is being used in the world. Let us make a straw-free start!

  15. Srikanth says:

    Very much need of the hour right from plastic free hills to reusable or better alternatives at home..

  16. Madhu Bindra says:

    I knew about the effect of plastic straws on the environment. But I did not know how they affected our health too. Thank you for sharing another informative post.

  17. Ginia says:

    Steek straws are a wonderful sustainable alternative to the plastic ones.

  18. Harshita says:

    Totally agree with your article. I showed my kiddo the video of the turtle with plastic straw stuck in his nose and he also now tries to avoid it. A couple of places I have seen here have paper straws which I think is still kind of ok. but do prefer sipping now!

  19. Yogita Joshi says:

    Couldn’t agree more. You article states everything much needed these days.. love reading it. I prefer using steel straws and carry them with me wherever I go.

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