During the beginning of my transition to a more sustainable and zero waste lifestyle, I tried my hardest to refuse as many straws as possible. Unfortunately, it looks like waiters and waitresses will continue to put straws into people’s drinks, despite how much you try to refuse them. But, what’s the big deal?
Plastic straws have been around since the 1960’s when the TV dinners and plastic dolls, and other items entered into mainstream consumerism. According to This county is on a mission to stop straws sucking the life out of our oceans “it is estimated that by 2050, the weight of all of the plastic in the ocean will be more than the weight of all the fish”. These numbers aren’t widely talked about in mainstream media, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. The lack of coverage has resulted in people not refusing plastic straws and other useless disposable plastic items. Is there a way that we can get the actual employees and places themselves to stop offering these useless items?
In 2017, restaurant, diner, and cafe owners in Seattle Washington, conducted a little experiment. They got rid of all of the straws in their drinks to see if people noticed that something was missing. Guess what? Only a few people asked for the straws. As a result, the city of Seattle has decided to go through with a ban on plastic straws, with the possibility for more plastic items being banned in the future. This hasn’t officially happened as of yet, but it’s exciting to see more and more places deciding to ban or put a tax on these unnecessary plastic items. Many places are supplying a biodegradable paper straw alternative, but it’s important to note the amount of money that these restaurants, diners, and cafes will save by not constantly purchasing plastic straws.
This ban seems like a small change, but it will result in more people learning to live without these useless plastic items. Hopefully, by 2050 the numbers will explain how much mainstream consumers and business owners are trying to help save our oceans. Many may ask, why don’t we try and stop the companies who are actually manufacturing and selling these items to the restaurants, stores, diners, and cafes? By refusing these items, we as customers are creating less of a demand for them. This will result in more manufactures trying producing these paper straws that can biodegrade in the compost.
If you don’t live in Seattle Washington, or one of the many places that are making strides to pan plastic straws. You can still make a difference by refusing plastic straws when going out to eat. I also highly recommend talking with your local diners, restaurants, and cafes about the dangers that plastic straws have on our oceans and planet. I also highly recommend signing the Last Straw Petition to help encourage more and more places to see the dangers that these useless plastic items have on our planet.
For more information on the plastic ban please visit these websites: