Challenge: Refuse the Straw
There you are: sitting in your favorite coffee place, ordering your beverage and not thinking about it twice. Then the order comes and you get your drink with a straw! Not a big deal, you would say? Well, think again. No matter how hip, photogenic or tropical that straw may make your drink look, it is actually a huge source of plastic waste all around the globe. A lot of people think that it is high time that this piece of single use plastic is banned and I fully agree with them. Will you accept the challenge and refuse the straw too?
Single use plastic can pretty much be considered as the biggest environmental plague of the last few decades. Plastic has become more and more popular of time and a lot of more sustainable options have been replaced by pieces of cheap plastic that can be tossed after one use. It may be practical and save a few dishes here and there, but the negative impact on the environment is huge and simply not worth it. Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to break down and when they do, they still end up in small pieces that actually contribute to the plastic soup. You might think that this isn’t such a big deal, since you always throw your straws away in the garbage. Unfortunately, straws are one of the top 10 items that are most found in the sea. The straws here have an awful effect on marine life. Fish, turtles, dolphins, sea birds and other sea creatures actually consume the straws and this can make them sick, constipated or even kill them. And I’m not even getting into all the pollution that comes from producing all of this plastic. Using plastic straws is so unnecessary too. We don’t really need to use a straw when having a drink and in those cases that you do prefer one, there are a lot of sustainable alternatives. You could, for instance, buy a reuseable straw made from rvs or glass, or restaurants could introduce straws made from paper or reed. There are so many alternatives that refusing the straw should be a piece of cake.
Do you want to accept this challenge and refuse the straw from now on? Participating is simple. Just refuse to buy any more plastic straws for your household and just say that you don’t want a straw whenever you visit restaurant or café. Sometimes you will still get one in your drink, but then you can simply give it back. Maybe they won’t reuse it, but you still send out a clear message. Imagine the effect it will have if more people did this. Share your new commitment with #refusethestraw on social media and maybe your challenge will inspire others to do the same.