PLASTIC STRAWS | Here’s why these things are bad for the environment?

Do good for the environment, great things will follow. This is what most of us need to focus upon. As the environment gets spoiled by toxic products like plastic straws, making an effort might do the trick. The popular phrase called “reduce, reuse, recycle” is often associated with the well-being of our environment only if we follow.

Single-use plastic

The problem with plastic products is these are non-recyclable, mostly. And, the amount of plastic we generate makes it extremely difficult for the planet to handle as a waste. Plastic straws are only for one-time usage and then thrown away elsewhere. Neither do they get recycled nor these are biodegradable so waste such as this only causes problems.

Our throwaway culture is based upon single-use plastic usage which we must eliminate at all cost.

STARBUCKS announces its move

An official statement from Starbucks on their twitter page “We’re removing plastic straws in our stores globally by 2020—reducing more than 1 billion plastic straws per year from our stores” finally draws a line for other top brands to follow. The decision to eliminate plastic straw usage from their stores internationally is very supportive of the environment. Starbucks will now use recyclable lids instead of straws very soon. Considering the non-recyclable nature of the plastic products we use, this is definitely an excellent move for the environment.

In a bid to make their stores 100% environment-friendly, they are certainly making an effort. The United States alone produces 500 million plastic straws each day and it’s a no-brainer that the majority of these straws add to wastelands. So, this move by Starbucks is surely the one for the ages.

Striving to make the planet and oceans free from plastic, Starbucks has their plans cut out.

Plastic Plague

How can humans be immune to such a toxic and harmful substance used in everyday lives? Like marine animals, we too suffer from the plastic plague. For instance, every plastic item including plastic straws releases harmful chemicals in our body. Even plastic items claiming to be BPA-free leach chemicals causing numerous health-related concerns like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

In 2011, it was reported estimation of over 450 plastic items like bottles, grocery bags, and plastic packaging which come into contact with our food. These products release toxic chemicals which act like estrogen hormones inside our body. The harmful additives present inside plastic causes negative health effects which may result in:

  • Impair immune function
  • Increase chances for cancer
  • Early onset of puberty
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperactivity and more

Food items aren’t the only ones inflicted with the plastic plague. Cosmetic products also have a fair amount of BPA-additives in the containers. BPA chemical leaches inside the cosmetic products which you apply to the skin. This one is actually more harmful than other products as you absorb more through the skin than when you eat or drink. Hence, you are always at risk with the regular use of plastic products.

Disabled person and plastic straws

Plastic, is in fact, a very useful product for us. So, while we are discussing its harmful effects on the planet it is sometimes difficult to avoid their usability. Imagine a disabled person on a wheelchair often using an oxygen mask to breathe properly. He/she doesn’t have the energy to:

  • Reach counter-tops at a restaurant to order their drinks
  • Lift their drinks and take a sip without the plastic straws
  • Carry a reusable straw along with them to the places they visit

This is a real-world issue where a disabled person needs our help. Banning these straws might seem okay with the rest of us but not with the disabled community. They need the straws or better they would happily use metal straws at a restaurant if provided. Don’t ask them to carry their own, provide them with the best hospitality and care by presenting the metal straws.

Do your bit for the environment

Plastic is a convenient product that makes our lives that much easier, we agree. And sometimes, it is necessary for people who are disabled and cannot drink without straws. But, the larger picture states that we should give up on plastic items right from this moment. It’s enough tossing toxic products around the place without a care. We must take responsibility to not use products like plastic straws anymore. Plus, we should help people who truly need our help by providing reusable metal straws to drink their smoothies or coffee.

Plastic straws are neither healthy for the body nor for the environment. So, purchase reusable metal straws till all the popular places provide these with their drinks. Support the Starbucks ban, support the planet. Ask your local restaurants to replace plastic straws with the metal ones today!

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