Most people don’t realize this but American throw away as many as 500 million plastic straws a day. As Adrian Grenier of the non-profit Lonely Whale points out, “Conservatively, you can guess that Americans will use on average two plastic straws a day, so 500 million is an accurate estimate. But I challenge you to start paying attention to the straws you get in your iced coffee, smoothies, soda, and cocktails. When I’m in New York or LA the number of plastic straws I receive is often closer to 10 a day.”
A number of people and organizations are starting to care, and they are making a difference. Milo Cress started a movement in 2011 called Be Straw Free that encourages restaurants and hotels to only offer straws when people ask for them. Grenier has a Strawless in Seattle campaign which has, so far, helped Seattle to save 2.3 million plastic straws in only three months. They are asking restaurants and businesses to change to biodegradable straws and it’s making all the difference.
It’s certainly a cause worth thinking about and a change that could make all the difference.