Over the past decade or so, there has been a lot of change when it comes to single-use plastics. One of these changes has been the decrease in the use of single-use plastic straws.
A lot of restaurants have been cutting out single-use items like plastic straws for the past several years. Some have switched to straws upon request, not providing straws at all, and some have even switched to compostable straws.
This has been a great start. Although we can only hope that all establishments eventually make this change to help reduce the impact plastic straws have had on our planet.
Why Businesses Are Making a Change
As governmental bodies, businesses, and consumers alike are learning more about the negative impact plastic straws are having on our environment, they are making changes toward a more sustainable future.
As a business owner, we encourage you to switch to more sustainable options and proudly display a sign announcing that you do not offer plastic straws and raise awareness. We’ve created a free no plastic straw sign you can download here.
The Impact of Straws?
So, what are the stats? It is estimated that, in the USA alone, 500 million straws are used daily. That is roughly enough straws to fill 46,400 large school buses per year! (EcoCycle.Org)
That is a substantial number of straws used daily and can have such a huge impact on our environment when you consider that they are not easily recycled or if at all.
During a clean-up project completed by the International Coastal Cleanup, approximately 7.5 million straws were found on United States’ shorelines. If you consider the size of the United States’ shorelines compared to the rest of the world that would mean, there are roughly 437 million to 8.3 billion straws on every coastline.
Considering that straws and other plastics can take more than 100 years to break down, that is a lot of straws to find on our shorelines. Not to mention that this is not the only single-use plastic item that ends up in our oceans and on our shorelines.
What Can Be Done to Lessen the Impact of Plastic Straws?
Switching to Different Products
The usage of single-use plastics needs to be significantly reduced. If we can switch over to reusable straws, biodegradable straws, and other more sustainable items we can lessen the blow to the environment.
Making these switches could keep more straws and other items from entering our oceans. The hope with reusable products is that they will not end up in the ocean or even landfills, or at least not as often.
The benefit of biodegradable products is that even if they do end up in our oceans or landfills that they take far less time to break down. Some of these products can take as little as a few months compared to 100s of years.
You could also choose to stop using some of these products altogether, but as far as straws go most dentists recommend their use!
Help Clean Up
Not only do we need to switch to more sustainable products, but more volunteers are needed to help fund clean-ups or partake in them.
Unfortunately, making the change to better products will not fix the damage we have already done, but so long as we all put in the effort to clean our planet up, we can. This will take a lot of work and years to complete.
beyondGREEN PHA Straws
Ready to help make a difference? beyondGREEN is here to help. We offer PHA Straws that feel like plastic straws but without all the damaging side effects.
These straws are made from Polyhydroxyalkanoate which is a more sustainable option that can degrade in as little as a few months. The straws will also break down in any environment making them the better choice when choosing a straw.
We also have many other products that you could check out here. Whether you are a business or just a homeowner you can take advantage of our products and help pave the path for a better future!
Click here to download our free “No Plastic Straws” sign. You can hang this to proudly inform your customers you are using beyondGREEN PHA straws!