The Fight Against Plastic Straws

Isabella Barraza

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Plastic straws have been used for over 100 years by people to quickly get the drink from the cup into their mouths. The straw was invented by Marvin C. Stone in 1888 and was made out of paper. Although there are still paper straws, plastic straws have been widely used in restaurants, homes, and pretty much everywhere. Some people will only drink out of straws to prevent the drink from just sitting in their mouth. The only problem with these fun, wacky straws is the amount of plastic that comes from them. Now, people are trying to keep the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans from growing.
According to the Miami New Times, Miami Beach has already banned straws to reduce the amount of plastic that enters their ocean. Also according to NPR(National Public Radio) New York city councilman, Rafael L. Espinal Jr. wanted to pass a bill that includes eliminating straws in all 5 boroughs of New York by 2020. In the United Kingdom the Mcdonalds franchise tried to ban its straws but it wasn’t allowed to because the company wanted to keep its well known striped straws. Mcdonalds isn’t the only company worried about losing its well known straws. Another would be Starbucks and its iconic green straw. A bright side to these big companies refusing to give up straws is that there are smaller companies that are already banning them. According to Bloomberg ,Bon Appetit Management Co. is a company that has already banned straws and plans to go on the paper straw route.
The reason for this ban on straws is because according to the EPA 33 million tons were used in 2015. There are also many videos that show how animals are affected by the plastic in the ocean. There’s photos of turtles, seals, birds, ducks, and many more animals that are stuck in plastic wrapping or a bag. A viral video, with over 26 million views, shows a turtle with a straw stuck in its nose which has sparked a bigger conversation when more people realized how their trash is affecting animals.
Even if more and more companies are banning straws there are alternatives to using plastic. One is a stainless steel straw that is quickly gaining popularity. The stainless steel straws are also getting attention because they’re portable and compact. One company by the name of Greens Steel makes stainless steel straw sets which are accompanied by very good reviews.According to Thriveaholic there are also glass and bamboo straws. All of these straw alternatives are helping clean up the Earth one straw at a time.