Straws and other single-use plastics have been quite unpopular this year- and for good reason.

Why the Hate for Straws?

In the United States of America alone, consumers use 500,000,000 straws daily, often going unrecycled and thrown into landfills. Like most plastics, straws are not easily biodegradable, but they also have the added danger of harming animals. Aquatic animals are especially susceptible to straws as they can suffocate on these plastics while feeding. Moreover, whales and fish have been harmed in recent years by ingesting broken down plastics- which in turn harms fish populations and the people who eat fish. Aquatic ecosystems depend on a series of fish in order to survive. When one group of fish are harmed, fisheries, consumers, and entire reefs are hurt. Plastic can be used to create strong and durable goods that can last a lifetime. Why waste the time and energy to make something designed to be thrown away after one use?

An International Movement

Many organizations, including One More Generation and Bas Les Pailles have taken note of single use plastics and their damage to the oceans as well. These groups have raised awareness around the world calling for an end to straw usage to ensure the well-being of our oceans and aquatic friends.

Taking Action

Daves Avenue Elementary and Lexington Elementary, two Grades of Green schools from California, have joined the movement against straws. The schools signed petitions to ban the unnecessary utensil in cafeterias in their districts and carried that momentum to their politicians. The schools contacted assemblyman, Evan Low, sending him 117 letters and a video expressing their enthusiasm for AB 1884- a bill that would limit straws usage.

On March 12th, Daves Avenue Elementary will present their case to Los Gatos Union School District for banning straws and other single-use plastic utensils from the all cafeterias within the district. By replacing the straws and utensil packages with reusable sporks, the School District would be able to save money on constantly refilling plastic utensils and prevent tons unnecessary of plastic waste from going into landfills.

There are plenty of reasons and ways to reduce straw and plastic usage! The question is, do YOU want to?