December 2, 2022
biodegradable plastic straws

Do you know that according to the Australian government, around 3.5 billion plastic straws and stirrers are used every year? Out of these, only a portion gets recycled. This means many plastic straws and stirrers end up in our oceans and waterways, potentially harming marine life. 

How do straws and stirrers hurt the environment in Australia? What you can do to help reduce their impact?

What Straw and Stirrer Are Made of? 

Most plastic straws and stirrers are made of polypropylene, which is a type of plastic. This type of plastic is not biodegradable, meaning it will not break down over time. Instead, it will remain in the environment indefinitely, potentially harming wildlife.

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How Do Straws and Stirrers Hurt the Environment?

Increases the Amount of Waste That Goes Into Landfill 

It is no secret that our planet is in trouble. The amount of waste we produce is increasing at an alarming rate, and much of it ends up in landfills. Therefore, causing a devastating environmental effect, and something needs to be done about it.

One of the biggest contributors to this problem is straws and stirrers. Every day, millions of these are used and then thrown away, taking up valuable space in a landfill. Worse still, when you throw them away, they just don’t vanish, and takes many years for them to decompose.

Harmful to Marine Life If Not Disposed of Properly 

If you’ve ever been to a beach, you’ve probably seen straws and stirrers littering the sand. What you may not know is that these common items can harm marine life if they are not disposed of properly.

When straws end up in the ocean, they can be mistaken for food by marine life. Turtles, for example, often eat plastic because it smells like their natural diet of seagrass. This can lead to serious health problems for the turtles and, in some cases, death.

In addition to harming marine life, straws and stirrers can pollute the water and damage coral reefs. Straws are one of the most common litters found on beaches worldwide.

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Can Harm Plants and Animals 

Most people don’t think twice about using a straw or stirrer at a bar or restaurant. But many don’t realise that these simple items can significantly impact the environment—and not in a good way.

Here’s the issue: when straws and stirrers end up in our waterways, they can cause serious harm to plant and animal life. This is because they’re often made of plastic, which can take years to break down. In the meantime, it can release harmful chemicals into the water, which fish and other creatures can swallow.

There’s also the issue of turtles and other animals getting tangled up in discarded straws. This can lead to serious injuries or even death.

Ways to Reduce the Amount of Straw and Stirrer in the Environment

Most of us don’t think twice about using a straw or stirrer at a restaurant or bar. But the truth is that these disposable items are seriously impacting the environment.

The good news is that some easy ways to reduce the amount of straw and stirrer waste in landfills or add pollution to our oceans. Here are a few ideas:

Bring Your Reusable Straw or Stirrer

When you use a reusable or straw or stirrer, you’re helping to reduce the amount of plastic thrown away each year. Not only does this mean less waste in landfills and oceans, but it also helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the manufacturing and transportation of plastic straws and stirrers.

Plus, using a reusable straw or stirrer is often more convenient than single-use straws and stirrers. You can wash and reuse your straw or stirrer multiple times, which means you don’t have to keep buying new ones.

Skip the Straw Altogether

If you’re looking to reduce your straw and stirrer usage, the best way is to skip them altogether simply. Skipping the straw altogether can help reduce the number of straws and stirrers thrown in the environment. Just say no to the straw and enjoy your drink au naturel. This is probably the easiest way to reduce your straw usage.

Use a Compostable Straw or Stirrer

Because of the negative impact of plastic products in the environment, experts have begun promoting the use of biodegradable plastic straws

Using compostable plastic straws or stirrers, in particular, reduces the number of plastic waste that end up in the environment. These items are made from natural materials like cornstarch or bamboo and can be recycled or composted instead of being thrown away.

Compostable straws and stirrers are a great alternative to traditional plastic straws, which can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. They’re also more affordable than reusable straws made from metal or glass.

Advocate for Change

You can help reduce the number of straws and stirrers thrown into the environment by becoming an advocate for change. There are many ways to advocate for change. You can start by speaking up when you see someone littering. You can also pick up litter when you see it. If you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up and dispose of it properly. You can also encourage others to do the same.

Another way to make a change is to write letters or sign petitions asking for laws or regulations to be implemented to help reduce littering. You can also contact your local representatives and let them know your thoughts on the matter.

There are many ways to advocate for change. It doesn’t take much effort to make a difference. Every little bit helps. So, start today and see the difference you can make.

Conclusion

So the next time you’re at a restaurant, make sure to BYOS (bring your own straws) and help reduce the amount of waste produced each year. And if you want to do your part in helping the environment, avoid using disposable plastic items altogether and switch to reusable options like metal or bamboo straws. Making small changes in our everyday choices can greatly impact preserving our planet, so always make smart, eco-friendly decisions—it’s better for everyone!

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