Tuesday, 4 June 2019

How Plastic Straws are killing marine animals and what are the alternatives

According to a study conducted by the  Plymouth University of  England, plastic pollution affects at least 700 marine species, while some estimates suggest that at least 100 million marine mammals  like Whales, Dolphins,Seals and Sea Lions are killed each year from plastic pollution.
Sea Turtles and Sea Birds are other species that are majorly affected by the plastic waste left on the beaches or disposed into our oceans.

Sea Turtles are the worst affected by Plastic Pollution of the Oceans
                                     

One might wonder how something as small as a plastic straw could end up causing so much havoc to the marine ecosystem.

HOW CAN A SMALL STRAW REALLY BE SUCH A VILLAIN ?


Plastic straws are single-use, lightweight, and made from Polypropylene, a material which cannot be easily recycled and is also degraded slowly.Plastic straws are preferred to be used only once before being discarded.
Plus, these plastic straws really are non-essential (we can drink soda without a straw -straight from the glass - right?). As a result, the negative environmental impact of plastic straws is much more disproportionate to its size given the sheer number of straws and the fact that they are difficult to get rid off .

WHAT ABOUT RECYCLING ?


Most plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter. They drop through sorting screens and mix with other materials and are too small to separate, contaminating recycling loads or getting disposed as garbage.

EFFECT OF PLASTIC ON HUMANS AND MARINE FAUNA


                                                       
                                                    The carcass of a dead Albatross (Courtesy - Chris Jordan )

When plastic  makes its way into the ocean, instead of biodegrading or dissolving, it breaks down into tiny pieces known as 'micro-plastic' which poses great threats to marine life including fish.
                                                       
It is projected that by 2050, 99% of all sea bird species will have ingested plastic. Almost 50% of the these Sea Birds are likely to die once they ingest plastic. Unfortunately and alarmingly ,there already is evidence of micro-plastics in Shellfish, Sea salt and even  94% of U.S. tap water.

Scientists at the New Materials Institute ,University of Georgia  conducted a new study which discovered micro-plastics (particles that are smaller than dust or powdered sugar ) inside baby sea turtles. Of the turtles studies in this research, 100% were found to have eaten plastic.These baby sea turtles were likely to die due to ingested plastic.

WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES ?


Reusable Steel Straws can be a good alternative to plastic straws

 

SAY NO - Till the time we come up with the technology that can create a completely degradable plastic straw ,say  “No to PLASTIC straws"!
Every time you sit down in a restaurant , ask your server not to give you any plastic straws and also ask your kids to do the same.After all ,education about saving our planet has to start early and from with in our homes .

SWITCH - Make the switch to more Eco-friendly options like biodegradable bamboo straws and paper straws.This applies more to restaurants that serve drinks and beverages .

CARRY  - You can carry your own steel straw , a single person can use hundreds of plastic or paper straws in his lifetime.Why not switch to a steel straw that is easy to carry and clean and lasts a lifetime !

If you are convinced to get some steel straws for your family or your organisation then
Steel My Straws produces reusable straws made of high-grade, rounded stainless steel that last you a lifetime and help you commit to a #zerowaste lifestyle and a percentage of the proceeds from every SALE  will go for ocean conservation activities.

You can do your bit by visiting this link - Say No to Plastic Straws and Save the Oceans and ordering some reusable straws .

I am doing my bit by offering my readers a 10% discount on their order of reusable straws by using the coupon code ' PREETICHAUHAN ' when they visit the link and make a purchase.


13 comments:

  1. Oh My God...its terrible.
    I doubt if really any change will take place or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steps need to be taken however small they may be.Thank you for reading the post !

      Delete
  2. My heart aches each time I read about water pollution and how it's affecting the marine world. Posts like this one will be a reminder to each one of us as to how we can contribute in our own small way to make this world a better place.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Knowingly and many times unknowingly, we have been doing things to our planet which are the beginning to its end. We have definitely initiated the process and we should do whatever best we can to reduce/control it. Very nice article.. :)

    Utpal Khot

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post, n very important n informative too. It is high time we understand the need of the planet that nurtures us. Little steps like spreading awareness can make a huge amount of difference.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Plastic has ruined our planet. It is the biggest tragedy of our planet

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are some great ideas. I agree it is high time we reduce plastic. We can drink directly instead of straws.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The way we humans are spoiling earth for other species is terrible. Every small effort counts and this is a great initiative.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I use bamboo straws. They are actually really good and aren't expensive at all.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love articles like that. Let us all remember that we are not alone on this planet. We should be attentive to the flora and fauna around.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have using paper straws at restaurants but I haven't started at home yet. This post makes me feel some urgency to do it...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I use Bamboo straws instead of plastic. I also have glass straws that I keep in my purse in a handy case.... for using when out. All plastics add up to a big problem. In Suffolk County Long Island... they have banned plastic bags. I think we have to do whatever we can to cut back... it is a big problem period...especially for our oceans :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's crazy. We switched to meta straws and don't miss the plastic ones at all. We also carry our own water bottles and not only is it less expensive, it makes us feel good.

    ReplyDelete