• Kasthurie Govender

Say ‘NO’ to Plastic Straws - A Non-Essential part of our Life!

It takes about 500 years for plastic straws to decompose.

Plastic straws are not biodegradable and cannot be broken down naturally by bacteria and other decomposers into non-toxic materials. Most plastic straws simply break into ever-smaller particles, releasing chemicals into the soil, air, and water that are harmful to animals, plants, people, and the environment.

Plastics and their by-products are littering our cities, oceans, and waterways, and contributing to health problems in humans and animals.

Plastic straws and other single-use plastics are a non-essential part of our life. Yet, they cause so much damage to the environment. The simplest way to reduce plastic pollution is to reject the use of single-use plastics, like straws, which became famous from the 1950’s.

Plastic straws are really bad for the ocean. It is said that 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found. Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic. A plastic bag can kill numerous animals because they take so long to disintegrate.

Marine species most deeply impacted by plastic pollution, are Sea Turtles, like many other marine animals, sea turtles mistake plastic waste for a viable food source, sometimes causing blockages in their digestive system.

Other sea animals affected by plastic pollution are Seals and Sea Lions, Seabirds, Fish, birds, Sharks, Whales and Dolphins etc. are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean. Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world.

The bad plastic is chlorinated plastic. Plastic releases harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other surrounding water sources and also the ecosystem of the world. This can cause serious harm to the species that drink the water.

Landfill areas contain many different types of plastics. Because plastic is so lightweight, it can very easily be blown away and eventually clutter the drains and enter rivers and the sea.

However, in a more direct route, boaters also dump their trash right into the sea. In the past,

this has been the main cause of plastics in the ocean. In 1975, the National Academy of Sciences estimated that about 6.3 billion kg’s of garbage was being dumped into the ocean every year. That's more than 680 million kg’s per hour.

Research and data collected from straw manufacturers indicates that Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. To understand just how many straws 500 million really is, Milo, the researcher, indicated this would fill over 125 school buses with straws every day. Most of these end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life.

The number of straws used in the UK is approx. 8.5 billion which is actually only an estimate of straws used in the fast food industry. (Apr 19, 2018)

One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world's beaches. (Jan 2, 2019)

Please stop Plastic Pollution!

Please say ‘NO’ to plastic Straws

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