With the plastic straw movement happening, an incredible amount of publicity is being directed towards banning common plastic items, yay! 👏🏽 There have been recent stages of plastic restrictions here in the U.S. – exfoliating microbeads became illegal to produce and sell in 2015, then grocery store’s plastic bags were banned/sold for an additional fee in several states beginning in 2014, and now plastic straws are coming under fire.
So, why plastic straws? Like plastic bags, plastic straws are everywhere! They bob around in our beverages every time we order a drink in a restaurant, so it is no surprise that each day about 500 million plastic straws are thrown out. At this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 🙀.
"Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world." - U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May -
Besides availability, plastic straws are being swiftly outlawed because of how frequently they make their way into the ocean and onto our beaches. Due to their size and buoyancy, straws are able to slip and slide through our sewage systems and readily access our oceans. Coastal cities (such as, Seattle, WA and Malibu, CA) have been the first to take action to ban plastic straws and other single-use utensils, and many more local city councils are following suit, though no state or country has outlawed them completely.
Sustainable alternatives to plastic straws and cutlery, from Wild Minimalist.
We seem to be moving at a snail’s pace compared with other countries, who are prohibiting plastic straws completely; such as the U.K., who aims to cease all plastic straw usage by 2019 and further eliminate all plastic waste by 2042!
Maybe a state or country-wide ban won’t be happening in the U.S. as hastily as it should, but there is plenty that we can do on a personal and community-basis. This image below, provided by G Adventures , illustrates the effects that our astronomical plastic waste is already having on our oceans and their inhabitants, then closes with ways that we can take the first steps in doing our part to reduce plastic pollution:
If you are thinking ‘this is child’s play, I want to do more,’ we encourage you to bust out into a self-satisfying happy dance, then, check out some of our favorite Zero Waste blogs below!:
Wild Minimalist – Married couple, Max and Lily, were underwhelmed by the lack of reusable products available on the market, so they decided to create their own company to provide customers with high-quality kitchen, cleaning, and bath products. Their accompanying Zero Waste Blog offers readers tips to decrease waste at home and on-the-go.
The Zero Waste Chef – Besides contributing zero waste to the landfill (she has a healthy composting bin I’m assuming), Anne Marie has created a quality foodie blog by any standard. She posts recipes, meal-planning guides, waste-reducing how-to’s, and even hosts workshops which she broadcasts over Skype!
Trash is for Tossers – From the creator of the eco-friendly laundry detergent company, The Simply Co., Lauren Singer has documented her Zero Waste Lifestyle since 2012. She offers travel, home, and gift ideas for those motivated to decrease their waste in all aspects of life.
Thanks so much for your read and please comment with any pointers and feedback – we love to know how we can improve and what we’re doing well!
Pete and Kiana
We have received no compensation to write this post – all opinions are our own.