If you can believe it, for every foot of coastline in the world, approximately five grocery bags worth of plastic trash ends up in the ocean every single day. It’s expected that, if we continue at the rate we’re going, the amount of plastics in the ocean will outweigh the number of fish. Part of that trash includes plastic straws, and the number may surprise you. Approximately 500 million straws are used daily — by Americans alone!
Many people attribute our over-usage of plastic straws to our obsession with germs. Years ago, straws were only found in some bars, but now they’re inside practically every glass of water at a restaurant and commonly used in many homes.
Though straws may be small and therefore seem inconsequential, they’re commonly disposed of improperly and end up in the ocean, and when so many of them make their way into the water, it adds up. Their size also makes them more dangerous to marine life.
They end up in the stomachs of different fish, big and small, which people then eat, unknowingly exposing themselves to plastic and its many health risks. What’s worse is that they can genuinely hurt marine life; for example, there are videos on the internet of turtles with straws painfully jabbed up their noses.
The following video went absolutely viral when it was released in 2015, touching the hearts of millions of people all over the world. The video shows a turtle with a straw painfully stuck up its nose, illustrating the risks plastics can pose to marine life.
Company Develops Biodegradable Paper Straw
The company Aardvark has designed the sole FDA-approved, environmentally sustainable paper straw. Their straws are biodegradable, durable, and affordable. Aardvark’s straw itself was designed off of the original 1888 patent for the first ever paper straw created by Marvin Stone.
Now, if you’re envisioning your straw falling apart before you can even finish your beverage, your concerns are certainly valid. Other paper straws have had drawbacks like that in the past, but this company reassures customers that their straws are made with far more material than conventional paper straws, so they won’t degrade or get soggy in your drinks.
Aardvark’s straws are made entirely in the U.S. using FDA compliant, food-grade materials, and so they are both biodegradable and compostable. The company offers multiple different sizes and trendy designs to fit all of your needs. Though they are a little pricey (starting around $25 USD for 600 straws), they’re certainly still affordable.
You can learn more on the company’s website here.
This is just one out of the countless examples that illustrates the harm we, as humans, have done to the environment. The Earth is our home, and we need to start treating it like that! Would you just toss straws, plastic, garbage, oil, and whatever else all over the floor of your house? Doubtful, yet you wouldn’t even have access to your house without this planet.
When it all comes down to it, Earth is the home that matters most. We need to connect deeper with nature and develop a stronger sense of gratitude for this planet, otherwise future generations won’t be able to thrive on this planet!
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