Straws: single use plastic endangering our oceans

While it was once considered responsible behaviour to dispose of one’s rubbish “thoughtfully”, nowadays we know that simply “throwing away” our waste is not the solution our planet needs. In reality, there is no “away”, not even for the humble plastic straw…

Straws suck. Here’s why.

Our quest for convenience is costing the planet big time. The plastic straw is one of the most common objects found in our oceans, and unsurprisingly, they’re responsible for the death of many of our precious marine animals. Plastic ingestion or entanglement kills a whopping one million seabirds and more than 100,000 mammals every single year.

But it’s not just where they end up that’s the problem, it’s how they come to be. Like all plastics, conventional plastic straws are manufactured using oil, coal or gas, all of which are fossil fuels. Because of the nature of these materials, plastic straws never completely biodegrade – they simply break down into smaller and smaller pieces called “microplastics”. Evidently, the life of straw is unsustainable from the get-go.

Admittedly, it is difficult to imagine that an inconsequential item like this could be the cause of such enormous environmental damage, but we need only think of the sheer number of plastic straws being used every day. A single straw in your smoothie must be multiplied by the millions of other people buying juices and cocktails and soft drinks around the world. Now, we can start to get a better idea of the scale of the problem.

Say goodbye for good.

Plastic straws cause environmental damage wherever they end up. Whether it’s floating on the ocean or buried deep in landfill, every straw takes it’s toll on our earth. So what alternatives exist? And how should you dispose of a straw if you can’t avoid it?

The best option when it comes to plastic straws is to simply go without. If you’re out on the town, don’t be afraid to say “No straw, please!” Don’t worry – your gin and tonic will taste just as good, if not better, without it!

For the avid smoothie-drinker, reusable straws made of bamboo, glass or stainless are all fabulous alternatives to their poor plastic cousin. They’re affordable, last a lifetime, look great and can be toted around in your bag whenever you’re out and about. For cafes and restaurants that aren’t quite ready to make the switch to reusable straws, sustainably-sourced paper straws are also an excellent option.

Unfortunately, once you find yourself in possession of a pesky plastic straw, the only option for disposal is landfill. Straws are too small to be recycled and should never be placed in your yellow bin.

At RooCreate, we’re passionate about living life as sustainably as possible, so we encourage you to do more than simply “throw away” your plastic straw after use. In fact, we encourage you to ditch it altogether – for good! Plastic straws might be small, but their environmental impact is anything but! For more tips on how to live (and love) the plastic free life, check out our simple guide to Plastic Free July.

Have you said goodbye to plastic straws? Was it an easy switch to make? Let us know!