Clear Thinking on Innovation, Ecology, Economy and Health

The Plastic Straw Elimination

With news about the environment and the precautions companies and cities alike are taking to protect the environment, Clear Genius wanted to take the time to applaud those who are making a very large difference. Companies like Starbucks are eliminating plastic straws, which is a HUGE deal. Americans use about 500 million plastic straws a DAY. Because of the small features and material composition the straws are not recycled. Another company taking positive steps to eliminate plastic straws is Aramark. Aramark is one of the largest food services for colleges, hospitals and national parks. With this elimination, it will reduce the amount of straws being used around the world by 100 million.

With the “goodbye Mr. Plastic Straw” people are probably wondering “What’s the negative environmental impact with plastic straws? Why are they so bad?”

For that answer all we have to examine: the oceans and the environmental impact straws have on the planet. Plastic straws are the 11th most common piece of ocean trash. Each year, a million sea birds die from ingesting plastic. 100,000 marine animals die each year from ingesting plastic. The numbers are significant. But what seems like common sense to recycle the straws isn’t nearly as easy as it seems.

The material plastic straws are made of, polypropylene, is not always picked up by curbside recycling. When the straws end up in the landfills, theoretically it would take approximately 200 years for the straws to degrade. When you also consider other items in landfills that don’t degrade, it doesn’t add up to a pretty story. With all this waste sticking around for several generations, it doesn’t mean we should all forget about it. We need to provide a better environment for future generations.

With Clear Genius, you can reduce over 300 water bottles with a single Filter Pod refill! That alone can make a HUGE difference in the amount of plastic waste your household produces. Mix that in with your own ban on plastic straws, one person really can make a difference. What’s next on the recycling frontier?

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