The Plastic Straw Problem
It is estimated that over 500 million plastic straws are thrown away each day in the United States. Using straws in the US became a normal thing to do and people just got used to it. Plastic straws are not biodegradable; however, they degrade into smaller and smaller pieces and get ingested by land and marine animals and eventually end up in our food chain. We have all been to a restaurant and got a glass of water with a straw in it, even if we didn’t ask for it. We only spend a couple of minutes using the straw and that straw ends up in our environment where it will outlive us and the generations to come.
Jackie Nuñez, the founder of The Last Plastic Straw mentions that if we start to think about how many people actually have and use drinking straws at home, we start to get the picture of what is the real "need" for a drinking straw. So why are restaurants using the straws and what could be done to stop it? He argues that if restaurants served straws upon request, 50-90% of customers will not ask for it. In addition to helping the environment, this will also save the restaurants money.