Updated: Jun 1, 2021
The question of plastic waste has been a center of attention in most countries in the world. Can you imagine one-day humanity will stop using plastic straws and save the Earth?
Generally, plastic hold dangerous chemicals that can affect the health of both humans and animals. Even without being digested, plastic debris can hurt or kill seabirds, marine mammals, and fish by intertwining them or causing them to starve or suffocate. There has been such a public outcry against plastic straws.
First, they are nearly out of the question to recycle because of their unrealistic size and shape. Thus, most recyclers do not accept them, and they end up in the garbage. Plastic straws are also blown out of the garbage cans into the street and, in due course, find their way to the waterways.
Recently, laws curb or completely ban plastic straws all across the country and even around the world. But why have these bans been so widespread, and do they work? Are they solving environmental issues?
While plastic straws cannot be avoided entirely, we can reduce the amount used by becoming more conscious of our consumption and becoming more responsible by understanding the benefits of reducing plastic waste to the environment.
Here are some of the primary critical reasons for reducing disposable plastic consumption.
Benefits of reducing the usage of plastic straws to the environment
· Less plastic straws, less carbon dioxide
Plastic has a significant carbon footprint, and so do many of the alternatives to plastic. And that is what makes replacing plastic a problem without a clear solution. Plastic is just a form of fossil fuel. It's made from oil or natural gas and takes lots of energy to make that happen. This produces a staggering amount of carbon dioxide, amplifies the greenhouse effect, and warms the planet even more.
Reducing your disposable plastic consumption also reduces demand for it, which means whoever you are purchasing it from is less likely to keep on making it. Climate change is the issue of our lifetime, and while it is challenging to influence government policy, we can protest with our wallets and discourage the production of plastic.
· Less recycling less carbon dioxide
Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption. As a result, less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are generated. Besides, manufacturing products from recycled materials typically requires less energy than making products from the primary materials.
Recycling also means less waste going to landfills, which means less methane generated.
While recycling is good for our planet after disposable plastic has been created, we will save even more energy by not making it in the first place. You don't want to waste energy on something that doesn't exist.
· Consuming less plastic straw saves animals.
Much is made of plastic in our marine environments. Plastics can cause massive destruction to the marine environment. With 80% of marine garbage being land-based, 90% of that is estimated to be plastic. Unlike other materials, plastic never decomposes; it merely breaks into smaller bits that will remain in the ocean forever as a sort of microscopic plastic soup.
The toxicity of plastic can lead to disease and affect an animal's ability to reproduce. In some instances, the animal might suffer in pain for a long time before eventually dying.
Plastics that remain in the land are also dangerous to both wild animals and domesticated ones. And impacts felt by these animals closely mirrors their marine brethren. They can suffer from various forms of entanglements as well as accidental consumption, which may be deadly.
· Consuming less plastic straw can save humans.
As humans, we produce a lot of trash that is not good for the environment, and we can do more to be good for our earth. Garbage can be reduced easily by cutting down its output using less plastic, which is particularly harmful to the environment because it cannot be broken down. It turns into a dust-like substance that pollutes soil and water.
According to a study in the Environmental science and Technology journal, each of us could be ingesting between 39,000 to 74,000 microplastic particles a year. Australia's ABC news put the estimate at 104,000 particles, which is equivalent to eating a credit card a week.
If you drink a lot of bottled water, you probably consume a lot more microplastic, which much higher concentrations of particles are found than tap water.
The chemicals that leach out of plastic are toxic, and when inside our bodies, they may lead to an appalling number of health issues; these include:
§ Cardiovascular disease
§ Bowel disease
§ Auto-immune disease
§ Neuro-degenerative disease
§ Increased risk of stroke
§ Chronic inflammation
§ Geno toxicity
§ Oxidative stress