Plastic Straw Pollution Problem
The next time someone orders a drink, they should ask themselves if they need a plastic straw to go with it. The answer should always be no. Plastic straws should never be used because they are harmful to humans, animals and the environment, which is why we should ban it and use safer alternatives such as bamboo, metal, and paper straws.
Plastic straws have slowly been acknowledged as a problem and many establishments such as Dig Inn, Starbucks, and Soho House are working to become plastic straw free as soon as possible. Instead of using plastic, they would adopt the use of paper straws, aluminum straws and bamboo straws. They would be right to do so. It has been observed that plastic straws have forms of noxious effects on humans and animals.
In recent news, it was disclosed that every piece of plastic that has been used, sheds into tiny chemicals which goes into our body and our food. When we eat a bite of food or take a sip of water, there is a big chance that we are taking in tiny plastic particles along with it. These small pieces of plastic are called microplastics. Since research into microplastics is fairly new, there is not enough concrete evidence of the exact effect on human health, but a strong correlation has been discovered. For humans, the ingestion of broken-down microplastics can lead to the exposure of other chemicals found in other known harmful plastics. These chemicals have been linked to health problems like, reproductive harm and obesity in adults, plus organ issues and development delays in children. Some of the most toxic chemicals in plastic are doxin, persistent organic pollutants, polybrominated diphenyls and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Similar to these chemicals in microplastics, there is one extreme toxin in plastic straws. Most single use straws are made from polypropylene, a type of plastic that is commonly made from petroleum. Plastic straws are not biodegradable, meaning they are not capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms, to become a harmless substance. Sadly, most of these plastic straws build up in our bodies of water, causing pollution. Pollution is the introduction of contaminants, that are dirty, unclean or harmful, into the natural environment. The pollution caused by plastic straws in our bodies of water harms the wildlife immensely. The outlook for turtles that eat plastic is bleak: for 22% of them ingesting just one plastic item can be a death sentence. Sharp plastics, like straws, can rupture internal organs can cause intestinal blockages leaving turtles unable to feed, resulting in starvation. Millions of marine animals die each year from complications directly related to plastic consumption.
In order to stop plastic straws from killing us and our environment any further, we must ban them altogether. It would be the best step to take. Plastic straws should not be used for our own wellbeing and they should be replaced with more eco-friendly alternatives such as reusable stainless-steel straws, glass straws, bamboo and paper straws. We must take our health into our own hands and save ourselves and the innocent animals from plastic straws.