What’s in a drink, that consumed in any other way would taste just as good? The straw is something we can easily do without. Eliminating plastic straw usage rarely requires a drastic change in behavior. But then, why are we still using them?
Most people don’t take into consideration the negative toll that simple acts like using a plastic straw have on our planet. As many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches, and just the U.S. alone 500 million straws are used every single day, according to an estimate by Be Straw Free.
“In 2015, a disturbing video
of an olive ridley sea turtle suffering from a plastic straw stuck in its nose went viral, changing many viewers’ attitudes toward the plastic tool that is largely a convenience for most people.”
The huge environmental impact that plastic straws have on marine life and the oceans has led to coalitions, a call for #StrawBan
and more mindful consumption.
What is true for all is that we have to become more aware of the impact we each have in this world through our careless consumption, we need to become conscious of the consequences each decision and action we take has on our collective, our minds, our bodies, and our physical planet. Mindful consumption is a way of practicing selflessness, where we do the right thing, even when it’s difficult, by taking into consideration our influence on others and our planet.
As an individual, I refrain from the use of straws when dining out as much as I can, and if needed I only use paper straws. I am a firm believer that we have to be the change, lead by example, if we want to see some significant difference in the world, but at the same time, we must consider those who are not in the same economic position as us or even those who are not physically able to live without the aid of a plastic straw. - Andrea
What are the alternatives?
Plant-based biodegradable straws made from made from paper, bamboo, and grain. Here are some companies that are pioneering reusable/ biodegradable straws:
+ Here is a great article in Atlantic
on the history of modern capitalism from the perspective of the straw. Seriously.