International Straw-Free Day: Fighting Plastic With Societal Change

On Saturday February 3rd the world will celebrate it’s first international straw-free day.

If you happen to live under a rock, here is what you have been missing this past year:

  1. Plastic straws SUCK, and we should all pledge to #StopSucking.
  2. In the US alone, 500 million plastic straws are used every single day, and they’re all thrown away. Nobody recycles plastic straws.
  3. It takes plastics hundreds of years to break down, so every straw you’ve ever used is likely still drifting around from place to place.

Plastic pollution is huge problem that we all need to confront. Plastic is choking our oceans and much of the life found in them. Seabirds, Sea Turtles, Whales, Seals/Sea Lions, and dolphins have all fallen victim to this disease plaguing the heart of our Blue Planet.

We’ve compiled a list of compelling reasons you should stop using plastic straws today, and ways you can help spread the word.

The Conversation Starter

Where do we most often find ourselves wasting straws? Bars and restaurants are the top culprits.

It has become custom in the service industry to bring patrons drinks with plastic straws in them.

Waiters and bartenders aren’t trained to ask customers whether or not they would prefer a straw in their drink. They simply give it to you regardless of whether or not you’ll use it. And after you have left the bar these straws find their way straight to the garbage.

What can you do to change this?

Well first off when your out to eat with your family or friends, let the server know that you all would prefer no plastic straws right off-the-bat. And let the server know WHY you don’t want to use them. Start the conversation about ocean health and plastic pollution with them. This way the next time they serve someone, they might not facilitate the waste so many single-use plastics.

And even better, if you’re single and ready to mingle, use this as an ice-breaker on a date! “I promise this date won’t suck, want to know why? I stopped using plastic straws this year when I learned they’re hurting ocean animals” you could say. Who wouldn’t like a partner who’s environmentally conscious?! Impress them with compassion towards our fishy friends.

It’s Totally Trendy Right Now

If you haven’t heard, even Martha Stewart is preaching to stop using single-use plastic straws. It’s so easy to stock up your home kitchen with re-usable or even paper straws.

So it might be slightly less convenient to wash a straw, but now it’s the cool thing to do! And everyone is into it!

Share with your friends via social media and let the world know that everyone is jumping on the trend. That’s how society as a whole makes the change, by starting the conversation and shifting the norm.

Anyone Can Be A Leader

This movement is unique because truly anybody can step up and take the lead.

From the high school student in California who created Jr. Ocean Guardians and the #NoStrawNovember movement, to any of the restaurants who have joined Lonely Whale’s Pledge to stop serving plastic straws without specific request from customers.

All you have to do is take a step forward and lead. People will follow.

Read Full Story: The TerraMar Project

Photo: Danielle MacInnes/Unsplash