Plastic straws can become a big problem after they are thrown out. Americans alone use around 175 billion plastic straws a year, most of which do not get recycled. Unfortunately, much of this finds its way back into the environment.
Plastic debris is particularly harmful to seabirds and marine mammals. Plastic trash can be mistaken for food and can easily choke, and even kill, marine life.
It is estimated that at least 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die each year from ingesting plastic.
Can plastic straws be recycled?
Yes, they can technically be recycled, but their shape and structure make it very difficult.
Straws are small and flexible, and can fall between the cracks of machinery, or get stuck in machinery. Therefore, they usually do not get recycled (Sustainability Victoria).
Plastic straws are made out of type 5 plastic, also known as polypropylene. There is very little demand for recycled polypropylene, as it is worth very little, and super cheap to produce.
This has caused most recycling facilities not to accept plastic straws and even if they do, most of them do not get recycled.
How can we fight this problem?
There are a lot of different ways to help lessen the plastic pollution of our oceans.
One of them is to obviously stop using plastic straws and to look for alternative options such as bamboo, glass, or stainless steel straws, which are reusable and don't end up in landfills.
We have made it our mission to save the oceans by making reusable straws as affordable as possible. Plastic pollution is an enormous issue and we need to act now before we get to a point of no return!
Join us in a fight to save our oceans!