Straws and our Great Lakes
Iced coffee, smoothies, juices and cocktails. I bet you’ve never thought twice about how many straws you actually use in one day. In North America, we throw away over 500 million plastic straws per day, it’s no wonder straws are polluting our Great Lakes and Oceans. That’s enough straws to circle the Earth twice! Across the world, plastic straws account for 13 million tonnes of waste every year. Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose. At the rate we’re going, by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. We need to take action now.
How do they end up in our oceans?
Watersheds drain water into a larger body of water. Small objects, like straws, get picked up by the movement of water, and make their way into creeks, rivers and wetlands, eventually making their way into the Great Lakes and then the Ocean. This can harm wildlife and ecosystems.
Did you know that you can purchase a reusable straw? Just like reusable bags and cutlery, there are different reusable straw options out there – made out of glass, stainless steel or bamboo. While dining out, you can even ask your server to not bring you a straw. If you must use a disposable straw, dispose of it responsibly to keep harmful pollutants out of our waterways. Always recycle where possible.
What can you do?
- Reduce waste and pollution by purchasing a reusable straw.
- Refuse a plastic straw when buying food.
- Start a conversation with local restaurant’s and ask them to limit straw use.
- Pledge to #stopsucking and take action for a strawless ocean.
Let’s work together to help our waterways. A small investment or simple request can have a huge impact on our environment. Be inspired by nature to make a change.