We’ve all seen the heartbreaking video of marine biologists pulling a plastic straw out of a turtle’s nostril as it squirms in pain. So why are plastic straws still being used daily around the world? The use of plastic straws has been the norm since its induction leading to 14 billion pounds of plastic in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Withmore than 50% of all plastic ever produced being made since 2004, it is no wonder why the amount of plastic being dumped into the ocean has dramatically increased over the years. Millions of turtles die every year from causes directly related to the consumption of plastic.
How Exactly Do Plastic Straws Affect Turtles?
When turtles and other sea animals see plastic floating in the ocean, they mistake it as food. This causes sea animals to die from suffocation due to plastic getting stuck in their throats and nostrils. It can also cause sea animals to have a false sense of being full when plastic is swallowed, causing them to starve to death. Several heartbreaking images have of turtles with straws stuck in their nose and deceased sea animals with plastic straws in their stomach. Plastic is destroying the habitats of sea animals. Tons of harmful debris and toxins polluting the waters leaving them defenceless.
What Can We Do?
About 500 million Americans still use disposable straws daily. These can easily be replaced with reusable straws which are inexpensive, and will lead to cost savings over time. However, portability is an issue with reusable straws.The Dirty Seahorse collapsible straws are great for on the go sipping! They are compact and can easily attach to your keychain. Another way to contribute is to participate in local plastic clean ups to eliminate waste on beaches, storm drains, and other areas that lead to the ocean is another way to end plastic pollution. Next time you need a straw, think about the detrimental impact plastic straws have on ocean life and instead reach for a reusable straw!
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