Today’s blog comes from one of our Program Assistants, Moriah! Many of us are knowledgeable about reusable items such as water bottles, but very few know about sustainable straws. Thankfully, Moriah has done all the research about plastic vs. sustainable straws for you!
In the US, over 500 million plastic straws are used and thrown away daily. Imagine what 500 million plastic straws looks like. That amount of straws would fill over 127 school buses every day, and more than 46,400 school buses every year!
Although disposable straws are made of plastic, and theoretically recyclable, straws are too light weight to be recycled in San Diego’s recycling facilities. Instead of being recycled, straws end up in landfills or as litter. Litter in the streets eventually makes its way to our creeks, streams, beaches, and finally, the Pacific Ocean. Plastic litter accounted for over 84% of all of the litter picked up during our cleanups last year. Specifically during last year’s Coastal Cleanup Day and Adopt-A-Beach Program, ILACSD volunteers picked up 5,334 straws.
ILACSD is here to help you kick your plastic straw habit! The next time you come by our office (2508 Historic Decatur Rd., 92106) or attend one of our cleanup events, ask about our newest piece of merchandise: stainless steel reusable drinking straws!
The San Diego Safari Park and Zoo as well as Sea World have already done their part to reduce their plastic waste. You will not find single-use plastic lids or straws at either of these parks because they recognize how easy it is for wildlife to mistake litter for food – especially straws.
On a global scale, restaurants in SoHo, London have launched a campaign against single use plastic straws called “Straw Wars.” The “Straw Wars” campaign encourages patrons to refuse plastic straws and advocate for restaurants to either not give them out entirely or only upon request.
If you agree that plastic straws are a thing of the past, you can either carry your own reusable straw or you can simply not use a straw. In addition to ILACSD’s stainless steel straws, there are a variety of online retailers that have stylish, easy to clean glass and stainless steel straws. Make the switch today!