Let me start by saying this - Hi I’m Mel & I love straws. I’ve always been an avid user & not once have I ever turned down a straw, I think it has a lot to do with being a bit of a germ-a-phobe (the thought of putting my lips on a half washed glass makes me cringe!) but I also can’t imagine having a smoothie, thick shake or a bubble tea without one....
So imagine my surprise when out at a schwanky hidden bar in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley last weekend I was handed my mixed drink without a straw!! Wait? What? It seems I’d landed myself in one of the bars in Brisbane to start ditching straws for the sake of the environment. Now I’m not silly, I know straws are plastic & plastic is bad but it wasn’t until I started googling did I realise just how bad.
Throughout the world enough plastic straws are produced annually to fill over 46,000 full sized buses & in the USA alone, 500 million straws are used every single day.
Because they have a astonishing short life span & are only used once and then thrown away, plastic straws are one of the biggest culprits for ending up in landfill. Straws are also one of the most picked up items during beach clean ups.
And although straws amount to a tiny fraction of ocean plastic, it’s their size that is causing the biggest issues to marine life. A video of scientists removing a straw embedded in a sea turtle’s nose went viral in 2015 & it’s this eight minute straw extraction that has made this straw enthusiast sit up & take notice.
So how can we help?
The easiest solution is to refuse a straw however for those not ready to give them up entirely the news is good. Recyclable &/or biodegradable straws are readily available,
Australian companies like Biome & Flora & Fauna have some fantastic alternatives like stainless steel, glass, silicone & bamboo straws. Keep some in your bag or car for when you go out to a restaurant or café.
As Australian supermarkets start to roll out their no plastic bags campaign in the next few months & we are encouraged to bring recyclable bags let’s add recyclable straws to that list! It’s not expensive, it’s a helping hand for the environment & who knows you might just save a turtles nose & that’s enough for me!