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It’s All About Straws!

Many+tubes+or+straws+for+the+sale+of+cold+drinks.
Many tubes or straws for the sale of cold drinks.

Many tubes or straws for the sale of cold drinks.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Many tubes or straws for the sale of cold drinks.

Michelle Nader, Online Editor

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The U.S. is only home to about 5% of the entire world’s population, but it makes up more than 30% of the world’s waste.  Pollution and waste in our environment have always been a severe problem. Every year, about 1.4 billion pounds of trash end up in our oceans.  This waste causes various issues for the animals and habitats that reside there. Recently, pictures of sea animals trying to navigate in a world full of plastic have broken the internet.  These images have tugged at the public’s heart, and environmentalists have been working on numerous campaigns and movements to try to decrease the amount of waste that we produce. Recycling, as it is now, is not working sufficiently.  As a society, we need to work to stop creating and generating as much waste and trash.

Recently, there has been a lot of attention on plastic straws. Various big-name companies, including Starbucks and Disney, have announced that they will start to eliminate single-use plastic in all of their locations, in hopes to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste.  Starbucks announced that they would plan to introduce the “adult sippy cup” to decrease the amount of plastic they create. On July 1st, Seattle was one of the first major U.S. cities to place a ban on plastic straws. Since then, other cities and states have announced they plan to make the same effort in the future.  The sales for reusable and paper straws have skyrocketed due to the increased demand for environmental-friendly products. However, for some disabled people, straws are a necessity. This need is very understandable, and most places that have banned single-use straws will still provide plastic straws upon request. Together, many people around the world are taking steps towards making a cleaner environment.

In the grand scheme of things, eliminating straws from our pollution will not suddenly solve all our waste problems, and it won’t clear all of our oceans of trash.  After all, straws only make up about 2,000 tons of the 9 million tons of waste in the U.S. But, it is a step towards a more waste efficient and cleaner world. It leads to many other conversations about how to save the environment and protect our earth.  This movement has shined a light on all of the unnecessary pollutants we, as a society, produce and has educated thousands on the harmful effects of pollution in our oceans.

 

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Many tubes or straws for the sale of cold drinks.

Michelle Nader, Online Editor

Michelle Nader is a senior here at Wheeler High School and is an editor for The Catalyst. She plays volleyball for Cobb Atlanta and the Wheeler Varsity...

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It’s All About Straws!