A few months ago, a heartbreaking video went viral. A sea turtle had a plastic straw stuck up its nose. Here is the shortened video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJmi_gwziy4. The original video shows it had taken about 10 minutes to remove this straw and that he turtle was obviously in pain the entire time. This video opened many people's eyes to the environmental damage that plastics have. About 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs. Plastic pollution is a very serious problem, and if a solution has not been created, it is projected that by the year 2050 there will be more plastics in our oceans than sea life.
Plastic Straws are one of the hardest things to recycle. We can put them into recycling, but they are so lightweight that when it comes to separating the plastics, they drop through sorting screens, mix with other materials, and are too small to separate. In the end, they contaminate recycling loads or just become trash. Straws primarily end up in the ocean because of littering.
People are pushing for plastic straws to be banned. In July, Seattle became the first major city to ban plastic straws and utensils. San Francisco passed a similar law that will take effect in 2019. Starbucks has vowed that by 2020 straws will be removed from their stores. A few major airlines and hotels have also committed to the straw ban.
What do you think about the straw ban? Is it reasonable and practical? Do you think it is a solution or just a step in the right direction? Should it be a city and business movement, or a statewide movement?