As humans, we create a lot of trash, whether it’s from eating plastic-wrapped food or drinking from plastic bottles. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each person creates about 4.4 pounds garbage each day, which adds up to almost 31 pounds per week.
Today, the oceans are filled with trash that humans make whether it was dumped intentionally or just got blown into the ocean. According to ConserveTurtles.org it is estimated that over 100 million marine animals, including sea turtles, are killed each year from plastic alone.
There’s at least a million tons of plastic in the ocean. It’s estimated that Americans use over 500 million straws a day. Straws are one of the top ten pieces of debris found in the ocean along with plastic bottles and bags. These items get mistaken as food by a lot of marine animals which can then cause major problems for the animals.
In 2015, a video of a sea turtle with a straw impacted in its nose went viral. That video alone started a movement, as people rallied to stop using straws at restaurants and bars. A lot of businesses are cutting back on straw use by having a one-straw policy, or getting rid of them all together.
The Houston Zoo is cutting back on plastic straws and bags. A borough in Montgomery County is passing a law on the banning of plastic straws.
Even local businesses like Rachel’s Creperie located in downtown Lancaster are going strawless, which is amazing we use a lot of straws. Sometimes, we use more than two a day, so one less straw or no straws at all is definitely start. I know most people prefer to use a plastic straw, but there are alternatives.
Paper straws are biodegradable, and reusable metal straws can be washed and reused; both of these straws are portable, and can be easily stowed away in a purse.
I think, overall, this movement needs to become more popular and more known, as the pollution in the ocean is getting out of hand.
I want to live in a world where sea turtles and other wildlife are able to live without fear of endangerment. As a global community, we need to start focusing on keeping our environment clean before we lose what’s near and dear to us because of pollution.