Straws, do we really need them?

There is one planet that we all live on, Earth. It’s a beautiful planet that is full of life. There are people on the planet who do not believe in global warming. One thing I think we can all agree on is the waste on this planet needs to be better managed. This is my opinion on the planet and the state we are finding ourselves in.

We like to have things!

People enjoy having things whether it is a car, cell phone, or a home. We have clothes we enjoy wearing. We have food we enjoy eating. We have things in life we enjoy doing. One thing we do not talk about is the waste that happens from us living here on this planet.

Let’s take for example getting a drink out from your favorite spot. It doesn’t matter if your favorite spot is Starbucks, McDonald’s, or a local gas station. You get a drink, with a straw, and go about your day. When you are done with your drink you put it in a trash can.

What are the real stats?

Have you ever wondered what happened to that straw? Where did it go? Did it get melted down and used to make other straws?

Only 9% of plastics are recycled. It has been at this rate since 2012. Plastic bottles are the only plastic to be regularly recycled. In 2018, 91.3% of all plastic waste generated in the U.S. was not recycled. Plastic takes 400 years to degrade. Only 12% of all plastic has been incinerated.

Why is this important to us?

This is very important to all of us because the plastic is not magically going away. It gets dumped into landfills or the ocean. Neither of these locations can recycle plastic. That means that this is getting into the environment that we all enjoy. The ocean animals are consuming plastic. Plastic is in our water and food sources, which means we are consuming this.

What can I do to help?

There are a few things you can do. First, if you enjoy drinking your beverage with a straw, that is fine. Get a reusable straw. They are available at grocery stores as well as online. When you get a drink, use your own reusable straw. If you don’t enjoy using a straw or forgot your straw, drink out of the cup. Seriously, you do not need to use a plastic straw that will not be recycled.

Recycle your plastic. Take your plastic waste to a recycling plant or put it in your community waste pick-up bin for recycling.

Stop using plastic. Humanity has been on this planet for thousands of years. It has only been within the last 100 years that the use of plastic has become used so heavily. We enjoy the comfort that plastic has brought us, but we do not need it to survive. We all should care about planet Earth. It’s the only home we currently have. We need to take care of our home. We can do this if we all make a conscious effort to reduce plastic waste.

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