The Last Straw for our Watersheds

Single use plastics such as disposable containers, water bottles, and cups literally adds tons of trash to landfills every year. One of the biggest offenders may also be one of the smallest: the straw.

Here in the United States, we use more than 500 million plastic straws a day. The majority of these are not recycled and many end up as litter in the lakes, streams and rivers of our watershed and then eventually in the ocean. Even when recycled, plastic straws are so lightweight they often don’t make it through the entire recycling process and end up as waste.

Once in the watershed, straws don’t biodegrade quickly. Instead, they break up into smaller pieces that endanger our marine life. Fish, whales, turtles and other sea animals mistake them for food and ingest them.

The solution may be one of the easiest: skip the straw when you sip. At restaurants, ask for your drink “no straw please.” Companies like Starbucks and Ikea are also pledging to reduce their straw use.

If you prefer to use a straw, opt for a reusable one. Option are available in glass, stainless steel, and bamboo. Keep one in your car or purse for drive-thru and restaurant visits.

Let’s make 2019 the year we ditch the last straw.

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