The Plastic Problem
Next time you order a drink, ask yourself if you need a plastic straw to go with it. The answer should always be no. Plastic straws should never be used because they are toxic to the human body and animals, and are harmful to the ocean, and the environment, which is why we should use 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. The city of New York is also thinking about banning plastic straws altogether, saying that plastic straws are not the only option. Instead of using plastic, they would adopt the use of paper straws, aluminum straws and bamboo straws. They would be right to do so. In recent news, it was disclosed that every piece of plastic that has been used, sheds into tiny chemicals which go into our body and our food. Plastic straws are not biodegradable, meaning they are not capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms, to become a harmless substance. This proves to be deadly and toxic to us as human beings.
Most single use straws are made from polypropylene, a type of plastic that is commonly made from petroleum. Chemicals from polypropylene can leach into liquids and they may release compounds that affect estrogen levels. Plastic straws may not seem to be doing visible damage to our bodies, but they are in fact harmful.
Not only are humans a target of the toxicity of plastic straws, but animals are in just as much danger. The pollution on our beaches is waste combined overtime to create/form a type of bacteria in which spreads illnesses. Beach pollution harms the wildlife immensely. Marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds can even consume plastic waste. There have been many instances where a sea turtle has consumed a plastic straw or a straw has went through it’s nostril, leading it to a painful and slow death. Millions of these animals die each year from complications directly related to plastic consumption.
Plastic straws are also proven to be harmful to the environment which we should protect at all costs. Straws are particularly known to end up in our bodies of water, and also littering our beaches. Most plastic straws that lay around on the beach just break down into even smaller particles, which release chemicals into the soil and air we breathe. This is clearly harmful to everyone in the environment, which is why it should be prevented. Miami Beach set a great example of helping to get rid of this problem by banning plastic straws and stirrers citywide. In September 2019, the city prohibited single-use plastic beverage straws to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the city’s waterways. Steps like these will help make the world a plastic straw free place sooner rather than later.
In order to stop plastic straws from harming us and our environment any further, we must ban them altogether. It would be the best step to take. Plastic straws should be banned 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 act as a community to band together and not use plastic straws. We must use our freedom of speech and use our voice to get the nation to understand that banning plastic straws is the only way to save our environment and everyone in it. We must try to end the plastic problem.