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19
Nov
Starbucks Said Goodbye & So Are We: See Ya Plastic Straws

Starbucks cup without a straw

Image Source: https://cdn-starbucks.netdna-ssl.com/uploads/images/_framed/FIIFNTb3-3761-5642.jpg

Starbucks is well known around the world for their delightful drinks, and whatever they do, they are sure to capture public attention. Once again, the company shocked the world when they announced their plans to entirely get rid of plastic straws by the year 2020 to help limit their environmental impact. With this announcement and move to strawless lids, the coffee franchise has succeeded in bringing public attention back towards issues of environmentalism.

Following in their footsteps, many other industries and individuals are making their own “No More Staws” resolutions or take other actions (such as moving to eco-friendly packaging) to raise awareness about issues of environmentalism and limit their own impact. In fact, choosing to shop or receive services from these types eco-friendly organizations is another way you can go green! Here is why you too should take up the gauntlet and challenge yourself to get rid of plastic straws in your life.

What’s All the Fuss About?

Each year, the plastic industry continues to grow at an alarming rate, much faster than it is able to be recycled and broken down. According to a report published in Science Advances, around 80% of plastic waste ends up in landfills, 12% is burned, and only 9% is actually recycled. This means that there is a high percentage of waste that is continuously building up within our landfills. In addition, the chemicals that are added to plastics means these items cannot entirely be recycled.

The Gateway to Plastic Elimination

Eliminating plastic straws may seem futile in the face of all the tons of plastic accumulating each year, but many believe that because straws are something consumers experience daily around the globe, they can be used as a conversation starter about our current global plastic problem. Straws, like many other plastic products, are designed for one-time-use before being discarded. And it has become too easy to get into the habit of using these without thinking about their impact to our environment. So, for the sake of creating a healthier habit of eliminating waste, sometimes it is necessary to start small–maybe even with something as simple as a straw.

How to Start

Cocktails

Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/eXdKs9d37Sc

1) “No Straw Please”: Be sure to let your bartender or server know you don’t need a straw. Eliminating from the source- you- is the best place to start.
2) Consider alternatives: There are many different companies offering alternatives to straws that can help to eliminate the plastic waste. For example, using metal straws that can be reused, or adorable paper straws that are biodegradable in municipal or home compost.
3) Pasta to the rescue: A new company that’s become part of the solution, has created pasta straws to replace plastic. Genius! Additionally, linguine pasta is a great replacement for plastic coffee stirs. Two more reason to love Pasta!

We love this new #plasticsucks movement, because it’s bringing to life that giving back to OUR environment doesn’t have to be limited to sorting your garbage at home. If you are thinking about the ways that you can alter your own daily habits at Starbucks, your local bar, or away on vacation, to become more environmentally conscious then you are on your way to making lasting change. Just don’t forget to tell your friends to join you in this movement. We will have a greater impact #together!

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Author Bio: Katie McDaniel is a writer and editor with a passion for conservation and environmentalism. She covers everything from the latest developments in HR to business communication, and enjoys writing about traveling and events.


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