Helen of Marlowe's Blog

Straw Pollution

Posted in "North Carolina" by helenofmarlowe on April 15, 2015

Reduce your plastic footprint. Say no to plastic straws.

Some time ago I heard of towns in England where plastic drinking straws
are banned.  Curiosity led me to learn more about how straws harm and
kill fish and coastal birds.  Some coastal cities in the US now have
bans against restaurants serving straws.

I don’t suggest banning straws, but I do want to encourage
thoughtfulness.  If you’re not going to use it, decline the offering?

Many of our ecological choices, like driving, are not so easy.  In our city of
Winston-Salem, as in many US cities, you can’t get where you need to go
without a car, and this won’t change until our city pays more attention
to public transportation.  Until then, to give up cars is not within our

But other ways to reduce our harm to the environment, such as giving up
meat, taking our own re-usable bags when shopping, and taking our own
containers to restaurants for bringing home leftovers, are easy and cost
us nothing.  Many of us have already made those changes.

I’d like to add plastic straws to our consciousness.  I’m not proposing
that we ban plastic straws.  I am proposing that restaurants give straws
only to people who want them.  Instead of including a straw with every
glass of water or tea, why not just ask when bringing the drink – Would
you like a straw? Or provide a straw only when requested.  If customers
want a straw, they can ask and receive.  It’s one small way we can
reduce the damage we’re doing to our (and our children’s) oceans.

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5 Responses

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  1. Rachel M said, on April 16, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I think we should just ban plastic straws. We don’t need them.

    • helenofmarlowe said, on April 16, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      I agree Rachel, but our NC legislators go berserk when someone suggests anything that makes sense.

  2. Anonymous said, on April 20, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Is it because the straws are plastic or is there some other reason I’m not aware of that we shouldn’t use them? I suppose paper straws would be OK. Sigh… so much to change, so little time. – bucky

    • helenofmarlowe said, on April 20, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Paper straws would be better as they would biodegrade, if straws are wanted at all. I think any kind of throw-away item should be declined if it isn’t wanted and won’t be used. Did you know there are glass straws? I didn’t until I started reading to prepare for this post – seems other countries are promoting the use of glass (re-usable) straws.

  3. Norma J F Harrison said, on August 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    there needs to be photos of straws meshed together in spots on the oceans blocking sunlight – effecting the natural ecosystem.

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