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If you’ve ordered a drink at a restaurant recently and it didn’t come with a straw, there’s a very good reason for it. Multiple cities across the United States — from Miami Beach, Florida, to Seattle, Washington — have banned or limited the use of plastic straws in restaurants.
Why? Plastics do not naturally degrade, so they end up in landfills, oceans and even storm drains. Environmental advocates are calling for an end to plastic straws, hoping that phasing them out will help the environment and especially the marine wildlife that is frequently killed by plastic garbage.
If you’d like to cut down on your plastics usage but still want to enjoy drinking beverages through a straw, there are some great non-plastic options. You could get this keychain that morphs into a reusable straw, or you can head over to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s website and get a free reusable paper straw.
All you have to do for your free straw is fill out a form with your name, address and email and the straw will be mailed directly to you. It’s all part of the “Give a Sip” movement which aims to pass a bill in New York City that would ban single-use straws in restaurants.
If you’re in New York City, you can sign the pledge and donate to the cause as well. If you donate $25 or more, you’ll get a set of four reusable stainless steel straws.
“An estimated 71 percent of seabirds and 30 percent of turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs. And when an animal ingests plastic, it’s often fatal,” the website reads. “At the rate we’re polluting, there will be more plastic in the ocean by weight than fish by 2050.”
Will you be cutting back on your use of plastic straws?