It’s Not Just The Bottle – The Ubiquity of the Plastic Straw

Published On March 23, 2016 | By Hannah Ellsbury | Articles, News

At Ban the Bottle, we’re focusing on educating people about the real cost – financial and environmental – of single-use plastic water bottles. Our Bottled Water Facts page has the nitty gritty, but in a nutshell, Americans use some 50 billion plastic water bottles annually – that’s over $1 billion in plastic. And we recycle just one quarter of them. The rest of it contributes to landfills and plastic pollution, which ultimately ends up in our waterways.

It’s not good. And it’s why we’re committed to spreading the word about the impact of that little water bottle you’re about to toss, and educating you on alternatives.

So when we hear about organizations doing what they can to cut down on plastic, we have to sing their praises.

We could all take a page from the book of Save our Shores, a nonprofit organization based in Santa Cruz, California, that spearheaded the ban on disposable plastic bags and Styrofoam take-out containers adopted by pretty much every jurisdiction in the Monterey Bay.

That’s impressive by itself, but the organization has a new target in its sight – plastic straws.

Save the Shores notes that we throw away 500 million plastic straws every single day. Visualize that – that’s enough thin tubes of plastic to circle around the Earth two and a half times.

According to, plastic straws are relatively new to environmental hit list. But instead of promoting an outright ban, organizers are encouraging consciousness about the ubiquitous plastic straw.

“… they’re encourage bar and restaurant owners to provide straws only at customers’ request instead of automatically plopping them in every drink. When restaurants do use straws, the campaign asks them to switch to biodegradable ones,” writes Kera Abraham.

Despite the campaign’s infancy, several local restaurants are already on board. Haute Enchilada in Moss Landing, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Café and Carmel Belle have already switched to paper straws.

For the rest of us, “no straw, thanks” is a simple request next time you’re out. Take it a step further, and explain why, and let’s join Save on Shores in reducing plastic pollution in straw form, too.

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One Response to It’s Not Just The Bottle – The Ubiquity of the Plastic Straw

  1. Marla Jean Huisman says:

    I use paper straws if I need one. They nearly disintegrate when you’re done using it.

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