5 things you didn’t know about straws

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1. 500,000,000 single-use plastic drinking straws are used and disposed of every day… in the US alone.

To give you a better idea, those 500 MILLION disposable drinking straws equal the distance from San Diego to Beijing. And if this amount is added up in one year, all of those straws would be able to circle the Earth 92 times!

2. Straws aren’t recyclable in most cities.

That’s right- most of the cities in the United States do not recycle single-use plastic straws. Because of their shape, straws are too small to be processed at recycling facilities. To find out whether you can recycle straws in your city, check out your local government website.

3. Plastic straws photodegrade

Just like all plastics, straws will not biodegrade like wood, food scraps, wool, or other organic materials. In fact, it can take these flimsy straws centuries to photodegrade into smaller molecules of plastic, never fully able to break down. Once created, “disposable” straws are never gone.

4. Many plastic straws contain BPA.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical building block used to create polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Studies are finding exposure to BPA can affect brain and reproduction development in negative ways. This is alarming as wildlife is also being exposed to BPA from single-use plastic debris which ends up on beaches or in the ocean. As animals, particularly marine animals, ingest this plastic, those chemicals could be transferred through the food chain onto our dinner plates.

5. Straws are in the Top 10 Most Commonly Found Items during beach clean-ups

Plastic drinking straws are up there with cigarette butts, aluminium cans, plastic bottles, plastic bags, among other litter that contaminates waterways, the environment, and in turn, wildlife.

The GOOD news: we can all do something about it. Next time you’re out at a bar or restaurant, order your beverage and say “no straw, please” after your drink order.

“I’ll have a water, no straw please.” “I’ll have an orange juice, no straw please.” “I’ll have a margarita, no straw please.” Catch our drift?

Join us in The Last Straw campaign: www.facebook.com/laststraw1to1.

Today’s post is by Laurie, who has been managing the Last Straw efforts since April!

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