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The case against plastic straws

Question: What do American Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Ikea and the city of Vancouver, Canada have in common? Answer: They are all in the process of banning plastic straws from their daily operations.

Small size, big problem

But why? Sure, discarded straws end up in our waterways—our streams, lakes and oceans—but aren’t bigger plastics a greater concern? Well, the small size of plastic straws is why they cause such significant environmental harm.

Tough to recycle

On July 9th, 2018, Starbucks joined the ranks of other forward-thinking companies and announced plans to ban plastic straws in all their stores by 2020. As part of the coffee chain’s reasoning, they cited plastic straws as “too small and lightweight to be captured in modern recycling equipment” while Business Insider reported that two of the largest recycling companies in America confirmed that their machines often fail to process straws. As a result, the little plastic tubes litter the street or get dumped into landfills, where wind and rain carry them into waterways.

Volume adds up

The Starbucks ban alone will eliminate over a billion plastic straws per year. This volume of single-use plastic waste adds up. In fact, plastic straws and stirrers account for 7.5 percent of all the plastic waste in our environment today. What’s worse, because straws are made of thin, light plastic, they become brittle in the sun and break quickly making them a major contributor to microplastics in the ocean.

Reducing waste

The core issue is pollution caused by single-use plastics. Whether it’s from water bottles or straws, when we rely on plastic for our daily drinking needs, we end up polluting the world’s water sources. The Coway Aquamega 100 is an easy alternative to this problem. Install the triple-filtering water system at home to enjoy an unlimited supply of clean water every day. Then, when you’re on the go, fill up your reusable water bottle with fresh water from the kitchen tap—no plastic straw needed.