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The Last Straw
October 17th, 2017

As convenient as plastic straws are they really suck. Places across the world are coming to this realization and making the decision to ditch the plastics. This is because, while straws seem like a harmless luxury, they are actually a great inconvenience to sea life all over the world. Time to say 'this is the last straw' and eliminate them for good.        

Plastic straws are anything but harmless. For most the horrors of plastic straws began when a video surfaced on the internet (one that has since sucked in the attention of the public, turning in to a viral film). It featured a sea turtle that was plucked from the sea by a group investigating the turtles. They noticed the turtle had something in its nose. What they found was shocking. The tip of a straw was peeking out from the creature's nose causing what had to be a great deal of discomfort. It was removed and the turtle was released (Lee). Unfortunately, this turtle was not the only victim. This is a common injury amount sea turtles and other marine life. Some may not be fortunate enough to get the help they require.

The woman who tended to the turtle, Christine Figgener, believes that straws are unnecessary and humanity will survive without them (Lee).  Many places are beginning to agree with her. 

There are many campaigns across the country determined to bring and an end to straws. San Diego restaurants are rethinking plastic straws with a campaign called Ocean Friendly Restaurants. The 100 restaurants participating agreed to give their customers straws only when they were asked for or eliminate them all together (Brennan).The campaign is hoping to do their part in reducing the plastic in our oceans. 


How can you go straw-less?

Living without straws is really quite simple and you may not even miss them. Here is how you can contribute to the fight against straws.


  1. Don't buy them- This is the easiest way to get plastic straws out of your life. Not only will excluding them from your household save marine life, it will also save your wallet. Think about it. A pack of straws that costs you about five dollars is equal to a gallon of gas.
  2. Reusables- If you absolutely cannot live without a straw, buy a reusable one. These can be used endlessly. Just wash it and use it again and again. Most places sell these straws so they are not difficult to find and it is cheaper than buying a pack of straws every shopping trip. Not only that, it means fewer straws in our oceans
  3. Bring the impact of straws to the attention of your local restaurants- Speak up! When at your favorite restaurant tell them to keep the straws to themselves. You may even choose to tell them why and encourage them to follow your actions. Who knows, you might just influence them to go eliminate the plastic devils. 


Millions of pieces of trash are dumped into our oceans each day. Straws contribute to 500 million pieces per day (Parker). Eliminating this luxury is the start to living an eco-friendly life. Use this opportunity as a transition into a life that will benefit the place we call home. It is a small change that with cause a significant impact on marine life. If we want to save creatures from further pain due to our waste this has to be the last straw.


-Heather Weller, Plea for the Sea

 

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Works Cited


Brennan, Deborah Sullivan. "San Diego restaurants launch campaign to go "strawless" to cut plastic waste." The San Diego Union-Tribune. 13 October, 2017. Web. 16 October, 2017.


Lee, J. Jane. "How did the Sea Turtle Get a Straw Up Its Nose?" National Geographic. 17 August, 2017. Web. 16 October, 2017.


Parker, Laura. "Straw Wars: The Fight to Rid the Oceans of Discarded Plastic." National Geographic. 12 April, 2017. Web. 16 October, 2017.

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