2018: The Year of Going Straw-Less

by Juliette Baumann

Over the past month American Airlines, Starbucks and the state of Seattle have announced they’re going straw-free for very important reasons. On a daily basis, over 500 million straws are used. Straws are the main single-use plastic item that ends up harming our planet, by polluting the ocean and harming sea life.

What sets straws apart from other plastics items is our inability to dispose of them properly. Straws are too lightweight to make it through a recycling sorter, causing millions of straws to slip through the cracks of mechanical recycling sorters. Those straws then end up in landfills and contaminating recycling loads, where they can no longer be broken down. If no changes are made it is said that our ocean will contain more plastic than sea life by 2050.

As a result of the straw-free movement that has begun many alternatives have been added to the shelves.

One of the most popular alternatives for plastic is a steel straw. Steel straws are easy to clean and durable. Eco at Heart has released three different styles of steel straws, whether you are drinking water, a cocktail or even a smoothie they have you covered.

Another popular eco-friendly option is a bamboo straw. Bamboo straws are created without any chemicals or harmful dyes. Brush with Bamboo sells a top quality product crafted organically using real whole bamboo found in India. If cared for properly, a bamboo straw can last for years.

Although all American’s have not made the switch yet, companies such as Starbucks have made the decision for its customers. Releasing an ‘adult sippy cup’ customers no longer have the option to grab a straw to accompany their iced coffee. This major change is said to eliminate the use of more than one billion straws a year.

These changes have inspired companies and big cities. McDonald’s, Delta, the city of Miami are already on their way to going straw-free. Celebrities and companies have taken to social media to show their support. The hashtag #StopSucking is being used to spread awareness. With plastic straws on the way out, we are wondering what plastic product will be next?

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