I love using straws, but I think the world has a problem with plastic straws and we need to give them up. There, I said it. There are a lot of reasons why I like straws including the fact that I have sensitive teeth and it just makes me happier, but I am trying my best to reduce my straw usage.
Did you know that almost 500 million plastic straws are used daily in the United States?! That is an absurd amount of single use plastic that is ending up in our landfills and also our oceans, harming wildlife and creating a lot of waste that we don’t need to. There is currently a wide global movement talking about straws and how to reduce our need for them, from banning them outright to only providing them if asked or replacing them with paper straws in restaurants or glass/metal when at home.
I rarely eat out so I haven’t really thought about plastic straws in restaurants for a while until Nigel and I were out for dinner and ordered water. They both came with plastic straws already in them and as two adults who were sitting at the bar side of the restaurant it seemed strange to both of us. When we were out for dinner again last night, we made an effort to ask for no straws with our water and drank it straight out of the glass.
Sure it was a little awkward to make sure that our water didn’t come with a straw, but I feel like after a few times, we will be pros at it. Even if they didn’t completely remove them, I believe that restaurants should start only providing straws if a customer requests it instead of automatically placing them in your glass.
At home, it is a little bit of a different story. To be honest I still do have plastic straws that I am working through. Straws that we bought 18 months ago that we reuse over and over again until they break or are completely un-cleanable. I am not going to replace them until we run out as I am not going to waste the things I already have. When they do run out however, I will be replacing them with metal or glass straws for things such as smoothies and when I do really want to drink out of a straw.
There are a lot of ways that I can reduce my waste and impact on the earth, but this is one of the easiest.
To read about some of the ways that plastic straws are affecting the environment and animals here are some links to some organizations that are working to change that.
And for some information on the talks of banning plastic straws in the UK, and how Canada should get behind this as well check out these links.
I suggest that you rethink your straw usage, both when going out and when at home and see how easy it is to be sending one less thing to our landfills and oceans.