Why You Should STOP Using Plastic Straws
Posted on February 9th, 2018 by Residential Waste Systems
Plastic straws are no good because… well, just read on and we’ll tell you!
Are Straws Recyclable?
The average straw is made from polypropylene. This resin of plastic is identified as the number five when you look at its recycling code. Other things made from polypropylene include bottle caps, plastic cutlery, yogurt containers, etc. It is a highly recyclable plastic.
However, there are different types of polypropylene — and the one used in the production of plastic straws is not widely accepted. Even some of the biggest recycling centers that DO accept polypropylene, DO NOT accept plastic straws.
Why Using Plastic Straws is Bad
- When straws cannot be accepted by your curbside recycling program and they are still included in the recycling bins, you’re creating a bigger problem. This negligence can cost cities millions of dollars to remove these straws from the items that can actually be recycled.
- Most plastic straws are used at restaurants and bars. Therefore, it’s completely up to the business to be environmentally responsible and find a proper recycling program that accepts plastic straws. The problem is, not many take this extra step.
- Straws that end up being thrown away (and recycled improperly) will end up in either landfills or floating garbage patches in the ocean. Even though straws are small, a lot are used and they can add up faster than most items that are thrown away.
What You Should Do
There’s two things you should do to try and cut down on the amount of plastic straws that are used and disposed of improperly:
- Stop using all forms of plastic straws altogether. Do not buy them at the store and ask your server or bartender to hold off on giving you one when you order a drink.
- Live a straw-free life OR use straws made from recycled paper. Even though these straws became less popular in the 1960s (when plastic straws were introduced), they are still made and are the best option if you must use straws.
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[…] 500 million plastic straws are used each and every day — and that’s just in the United States! Plastic straws are not […]
Short movie (<1 minute) on the impact of plastic straw on the environment and ways to stop using them