If you know anything about Pakaloha, you know that we love everything about the beach. As you can guess, we also believe strongly in taking care of our ocean and making sure that we can enjoy it for years to come.
That’s why we strongly believe you should ditch plastic straws.
Plastic does not degrade in nature, meaning that once we dispose of it, it does not simply disappear. It hangs around, wrecking havoc to our natural environment. According to the National Park’s service, Americans use over 500,000,000 straws a day. Straws are not recyclable, which means that this amount of plastic hangs around, blowing in the wind, ending up in landfills, or worse, washing away into our oceans.
Straws are also in the top ten most frequently found items during beach cleanups. They end up eaten by birds and fish, wreaking havoc on fragile digestion systems. A recent study has revealed that 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic. It is safe to say that a large amount of that plastic is straws used unnecessarily.
Think about it this way: how long do you use that plastic straw for? It takes 20 minutes to drink an iced coffee (assuming you are taking leisurely sips. For some of us, it takes even less time.) Take a minute to guess at how long your plastic straw floats around decomposing. Did you guess 20 years? 50 years?
If yes, you guessed wrong. It takes two hundred years for plastic to decompose. Take a look at that plastic straw again. Did you really need it?
That’s why, at Pakaloha, we challenge you to cut down on your use of plastic straws. Next time you are at the bar, or the coffee shop, just say no! It won’t make your cocktail taste worse. And next time you visit the local coffee shop, consider skipping all that plastic altogether! Bring a thermos with you, and ask them to fill it up. Your barista won’t mind, and you’ll be doing your part to cut down on all of that waste.
I know that there are times when you really need a straw, and there are still options. Paper straws degrade quickly, lasting long enough for you to finish your drink and no longer. Compostable straws are also an option, but keep in mind that they are meant to be composted in a commercial facility. They can’t biodegrade on their own. Finally, when you are at home, consider investing in reusable straws! They can be washed and reused as many times as you need them.
Let us know what solutions you have for preserving our ocean home! We love to see what you ladies are up to, and what creative ways you have to cut down on waste.