Flaws of Single-Use Straws

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You spend minutes sipping through a straw but it can end up spending decades in the ocean because its plastic, and doesn’t biodegrade. Instead, it lingers as litter for an animal to mistake as food, or even worse, get stuck inside a sea turtle’s nose (yes, this has happened). For years straws remain the 7th most picked up litter item during worldwide events like Coastal Cleanup Day, and no matter how hard we try, we just can’t get them all. While companies like Starbucks have made commitments to phase out plastic straws by 2020, what can we as straw sippers do to prevent straw pollution? You as one person can do a lot.

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Paper or plastic? Go with paper instead of plastic straws. They are a little more expensive, but you can feel good knowing the straw will biodegrade when you are done sipping on it.


Go with a reusable straw. Keep a reusable straw on hand for any cold beverage purchases you make along the way. Places like Amazon, Target, and more sell these at a reasonable price. Enter to win a nifty collapsible keychain straw by visiting smchealth.org/ccd.


Go completely reusable. Purchase a reusable cold beverage container that comes with a reusable straw. This not only reduces straw litter, but single-use plastic consumption in general. Or, if straws aren’t a sipping staple for you, skip them entirely.


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