Let’s talk straws, plastic straws.

Picture this: you’re at a local food joint. You place your order and wait at the next window. Your food comes out and they hand you the drink. You go to the little table where they have napkins, lids and straws. But something is different, something isn’t there. You realize the lid looks

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different, and straws are no where to be found.

Cities like Seattle, Miami, Berkeley and many others have banned the use of straws in the cities along with many other and a few that are waiting for approval. Big companies like Starbucks and Disney are working on reducing their plastic foot print by eliminating straws and even more restaurants, even locally are banning the use of those small plastic sticks we all use to drink out of.

Only about 9% of plastics used end up in recycling and the rest end up in landfill or our oceans.  There is an iceberg named the Pacific Garbage Patch that floats 79,000 tons of plastic through the Pacific ocean.

So why are we starting with straws? Theres so many other forms of plastic like water bottles and tooth brushes but straws are small and can cause harm in ocean life. The most common is that they get stuck in sea turtles noses, causing them trouble with breathing.

Local businesses have joined to no straw movement. Tazikis in the Mountainlair now requires you to ask for a lid and straw and the Evansdale crossing now gives out lids that

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do no require a straw. Although they seem like small steps they are helping with the bigger picture of reducing plastic from the oceans.

Some businesses are dealing with backlash to the movement. Marshalls Hall of Fame Cafe in Huntington eliminated straws this past summer. They experienced backlash from locals

who need to a straw to drink, due to disabilities.

Although plastic straws are disappearing, that doesn’t mean straws are gone forever. Reusable straws made from metal, hard plastic, and even bamboo can be found on amazon or in stores like Walmart for a very cheap price. Restaurants have started to give out paper straws and biodegradable straws are coming into the market.

So don’t think of this as an end to straws but rather a new beginning where our drinking tubes and sea turtles can live in harmony.

7 thoughts on “Humans and Sea Turtles Living in Harmony: Is This the Last Straw?

  1. The no-straw movement is really great because it is helping people think of how they are impacting the environment. Maybe more restaurants could start to incentivize people bringing their own cup and straw like Starbucks does, but with maybe more than just 10 cents off the drink.

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  2. I personally think that this movement is a great idea and something that should have happened a lot sooner. If you think about it, do you really need a straw? I find it kind of crazy that the norm at restaurants is to be given a straw when they aren’t necessary. If someone needs a straw to drink they should buy a metal one. Overall I think this is a great step in order to help save the environment.

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  3. It’s really confusing to me when so many people seem to be so attached to straws in the first place. It’s not like people use straws anywhere other than restaurants, I’m sure most people don’t use them at home all the time. I understand there are legitimate concerns about hygiene and people with certain disabilities who need them, but outside of that it honestly seems a little archaic that we’ve continued to use plastic straws for as long as we have.

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  4. The future for straws is quite interesting. Recycling and saving the climate is at its pinnacle. Starbucks has gotten rid of straws almost completely and instead use a lid that you can drink out of. I have also noticed that while I am on vacation, most restaurants by bodies of water do not offer straws to customers unless they ask. I believe that going straw less will only be beneficial for our planet and help keep our earth green!

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  5. I remember being in Evansdale crossing for the first time of the semester this year and I went to go grab my straws and there wasn’t any. I was so confused and also pleasantly surprised you had to physically ask for one to be given one.

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  6. This is definitely a topic I’ve been interested in recently. I’ve noticed the drop off of straws in Morgantown at some restaurants, and I also noticed some places took them away for like a week, then brought them back once all the hype was over. Very interesting post!

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