The Southeastern

The Last Straw

Plastic straws are being banned around the world. Why?

Plastic+are+under+attack+after+big+companies+try+to+be+environmentally+friendly.
Plastic are under attack after big companies try to be environmentally friendly.

Plastic are under attack after big companies try to be environmentally friendly.

https://www.change.org/

https://www.change.org/

Plastic are under attack after big companies try to be environmentally friendly.

Brad Erwin, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Recently, many large companies, most notably Starbucks, have taken actions against single0use plastic straws. On July 9, an article went up on Starbucks’ website and stated, “It will phase out plastic straws from its more than 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020, a decision that will eliminate more than 1 billion straws a year.”

After this announcement, some began to support this change saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, while others disagreed, arguing that banning a small percentage of plastic will yield no positive results overall and that it is just defends a necessary evil. Plastic straws are 2018’s newest villain and it’s a breath of fresh air from Russia collusion or President Trump’s expensive hookers.

According to The New York Times, the figures of daily single-use straw usage range from 350 million to a whopping 500 million per day. One can easily surmise from those numbers that there are a lot of plastic straws heading somewhere, but to find out where, let’s look at a few points.

First, what is plastic? “Plastics are made from materials such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and crude oil,” per PlasticsEurope. After use, these materials must be disposed of in landfills, recycling plants, burned, or find their way into the oceans via littering. Plastics take centuries to breakdown; around 400 years when in landfills, according to www.des.nh.gov.

In the past, the solution to the landfill problem has been recycling. According to The Economist, only nine percent of Earth’s plastics are recycled. Unfortunately, curb-side recycling programs do not typically accept plastic straws as they are too small and clog sorting machines. That leaves two other disposal methods: burning and litter.

In reality, they’re in the oceans. Photos are always making their way onto the internet of  dolphins, turtles, birds and other sea life getting caught in plastic debris in the ocean. It is meant to pull on the public’s heartstrings.

Honestly though, banning plastic straws will not change much because they are such a small percentage of the produced plastics in the world, only about four percent of the plastic trash by piece, according to USNews.com. I do think that making these types of minor changes for the betterment of the environment is a good move.

Plastic straw bans are just highlighting the bigger problem of plastics in society, and could be the actual straw that breaks the old regulation’s back. They may start a new green revolution in awareness of manufacturing and consumption of plastics.

About the Writer
Brad Erwin, Staff Writer

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite book/magazine: 1984

Dream job: Pro Fisherman

Favorite movie: A Beautiful Mind

Currently watching: Lord of the Rings series

Music of choice: Rap or Rock

Brad is a Communication major with a journalism minor who has been a member of the SE Student Publications since Fall 2017. She has served as staff writer. When not working on The Southeastern, Brad enjoys working on other things. This year, he looks forward to learning. Follow him on Twitter @Berwin

Leave a Comment

Tell us what you think. The Southeastern editorial staff reserves the right to remove any comments deemed inappropriate or offensive.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • The Last Straw

    Opinion

    Self defense is self care

  • The Last Straw

    News

    Southeastern expands reach to establish academic and cultural exchange programs in China

  • The Last Straw

    News

    Free medical services available on campus June 2-3

  • The Last Straw

    President's Corner

    President’s Corner: Guns on Campus

  • The Last Straw

    Opinion

    Editorial: Make education a priority

  • The Last Straw

    Opinion

    Gun control back in the spotlight

  • The Last Straw

    Opinion

    President’s Corner

  • Opinion

    Editorial: Learning to argue

  • The Last Straw

    A&E

    The many reasons why

  • The Last Straw

    Opinion

    Alleged “shithole” slurs from President Trump

The student news site of Southeastern Oklahoma State University
The Last Straw