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Heart & Soul Blog

Thoughtful Thursday: We’re Ditching Plastic

Alyson Campbell

 Credit: Instagram: @thelastraw813

Credit: Instagram: @thelastraw813

According to Business Insider the world consumes too much plastic. About 88 pounds a year is wasted and often dumped into the ocean and landfills. Less than 9% of what we recycle is actually being recycled. Most waste ends up floating out in the ocean or slowly decaying in landfills around the world. 

The ban on plastic straws has been a movement since 2015. Our problem will not go away by just forgoing straws, but instead we say letting go of a single piece of plastic will be a much-needed step in the direction to improving our environment. 

Just today, Money shared a story of Milo Cress who at age 9, began calculating how many plastic straws Americans use every day. He quickly learned there wasn’t a simple answer and wanted to figure it out himself. He started in his local hometown of Burlington, Vt. In 2011, he began his project called Be Straw Free in which he called straw manufacturers in the U.S. and asked them for estimates of how many single-use plastic straws Americans use every day.

Cress’s research estimated that Americans use an astonishing number – about 500 million straws — including clear plastic straws, bendy straws, straws on juice boxes, cocktail straws and plastic drink stirrers — every day.  “Some have said his number is too high, while others say it’s too low. But Cress, now 17, says ‘that’s not the point.’”

Another anti-straw movement first went viral when a Texas A&M graduate student, Christine Figgener, noticed a straw encrusted in the nose of a male turtle when out studying sea turtles in Costa Rica. 

Most people will feel content that they’ve done their part for Mother Earth, but it has to be more than that – it’s a behavior change, even with a small step. Doing one good thing for the environment can help kickstart people into wanting to engage in other Earth-friendly behaviors.

Most countries have banned plastic. By making reusing a habit, it will become a lot easier for the brain to handle the change to ditching plastic completely. Plastic may be inexpensive, but the total cost of damage it does to the environment, the ocean, and its animals cannot be undone. 

Plastic is inconvenient for our health, the health of the ocean, the health of the wildlife and our globe. 

Do your part – even if it’s just this small, thoughtful step today.   

For more info, read the rest of the articles here: https://www.businessinsider.com/plastic-straw-ban-why-are-there-so-many-2018-7  and http://time.com/money/5343736/how-many-plastic-straws-used-every-day/

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