Could Plastic Straws Be Banned?
You may not be able to get that straw for your drink soon. Plastic straw manufacturers are bracing for big changes as those plastic straws fill up our landfills and end up in in our water.
The problem? They are not biodegradable and many end up in our waterways and, ultimately, in the oceans. Plastic straws are now among the top 10 waste items found on beaches. Research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world's oceans by 2050, and straws are a major factor because the vast majority are never recycled. Straws and stirrers were the sixth-most commonly collected item during California's Coastal Cleanup Day from 1989 to 2014.
Overseas, the European Union is pushing for many single-use plastic products, including straws, to be barred by 2030. Seattle is banning them starting in July. If restaurants want to serve drinks with straws, they'll have to use biodegradable alternatives. And a bill proposed in California would make it illegal for restaurant servers to give guests plastic straws unless requested — with the threat of a $1,000 fine or jail time attached.
How can we help? We can switch to biodegradable straws, although right now they cost 5-6 times more than the plastic straws so getting them free in restaurants and convenience stores will cost a little more.
We can switch to reusable straws, here's an idea for which ones are good.
Or we simply remember to recycle our straws in our recycle bins. They may look small but they add up in a hurry, so we can start thinking of them the same way we think of plastic bottles and recycle them.