According to National Geographic, Americans use 500 million straws every single day.
Why is this important?
Because that’s more than 1.6 straws per person per day, equating to a pollution problem that will result in more straws in the ocean than fish by the year 2050.
But why doesn’t recycling help?
Mechanical sorting machines at current waste management facilities can’t detect or separate the straws because they are too small. Meaning a straw has just as good of a chance to contaminate a clean batch of recyclables as it does to end up in a landfill. And once it is finally in the land fill it takes roughly 500 years to decompose. That means 500 years for the decomposing plastic to enter soil, lakes, rivers (including the Mississippi river), even the ocean.
Many companies around the world have already started keeping straws behind counters to keep customers from taking too many and forcing them to ask for the item in the first place.
Having to drink a latte, shake, or glass of water without your customary straw may feel different at first, but making that split second decision may save another creatures life.
As an organization with deep roots in waterways and sustainable development, we are always up for keeping the environment clean!