why plastic straws are good

Other states such as Hawaii, cities such as Seattle and New York, and corporations such as Amazon and Starbucks are also considering or have initiated plastic phase-out plans. Eco At Heart explains that plastic straws are one of the top ten most common items of trash found in the ocean. The less-than-good news is that they have to be recycled at … LEAPE: There are two clear imperatives. In a Q&A, environmental law Professor Deborah Sivas discusses a recent executive order that empowers federal agencies to override legal requirements for environmental reviews and community feedback related to major infrastructure projects. Of that, the United States contributed less than 1 percent. China and Indonesia were the biggest contributors by an enormous margin. JIM LEAPE: Our oceans are currently swimming with plastics. An astounding 500 million straws are used in the U.S. every day, and according to a New Plastics Economy report, oceans are expected to contain more plastic than fish by 2050.Since single-use straws … There is a lot of research now underway on the health effects of ocean plastics, but we already know that some plastics, and the chemicals that attach themselves to plastics in the water, can cause cancer, genetic disruptions and other ill effects. So before you congratulate yourself for unwrapping a delightful paper straw at your favorite coffee house, consider the actual environmental effects. Stanford hydrologist Newsha Ajami, an appointee to California’s regional water quality board, discusses how wildfires affect water quality, and how we can better prepare for and react to the challenges. He doesn’t say it like he used to a few months ago, but he doesn’t have to. Also, the Starbucks anti-straw campaign was accelerated by a gruesome video showing a turtle impaled by a plastic straw and that same video is being used in other campaigns. We should do likewise. “When you’re laser-focused on climate change, that means that you’re not properly focused on good forest management, and that’s what’s been neglected.”. The small pilot whale, found in a Thai canal this past June, is another symptom of a crisis in the world’s oceans. Virtue-signaling lefties rejoice in what they consider to be “planet-saving” bans on useful items that children and disabled people need daily. Again, bamboo straws are not bendable like a plastic straw is. “Plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of the problem – less than 1 percent,” said an official involved with the study. In fact, even climate activists involved in the study struggled to see any noticeable effects of a nationwide straw ban. The United States contributes less than 1 percent of the world’s plastic ocean pollution annually. It has been projected that, if current trends continue, by 2050 the plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish. Stanford experts discuss the limitations of these bans and the potential for meaningful change. Yet despite these extremely easy-to-research facts, presidential candidates and lawmakers across the country have vowed to make these types of bans priorities — and it’s been effective. The production of paper straws is actually more resource-intensive than plastic straws, but plastic straws are more dangerous to the environment if they are littered because they do not biodegrade… Typically we only use them for the lifespan of a single drink before they are discarded. The straws are typically made using polypropylene, a type of plastic made from petroleum. Foolproof. Criddle and Leape are also senior fellows at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Compostable plastic straws are no better than regular plastic straws … While a staggering amount of … The New York City Council also recently introduced legislation to ban plastic straws … This convenience has made … August 01, 2018 . CRIDDLE: We need to think about what incentives will promote a culture of recycling and innovation with respect to waste streams. About Nicholas Kerr September 19, 2018 6:30 AM. No big … … The risk is that banning straws may confer “moral license” – allowing companies and their customers to … Fortunately, microorganisms can also use cheap, renewable substrates, such as food wastes, biogas methane, carbon dioxide and renewable hydrogen. One wonders where that all might end? One recent survey found plastics in 94 percent of tap water samples in the U.S. and in nearly every brand of bottled water. Plastics also permeate freshwater systems like rivers and streams. According to Dr. Burhenne, the only way straw use could potentially protect the teeth is if the tip of the straw is in the back of the mouth and the liquid goes straight to the throat without … Biodegradable Straws – There are many reasons to use paper straws, from saving the environment to … Some Disabled People Require Plastic Straws to Drink For some people with disabilities, straws are … Thoughtful laws are needed to control the problem and at the same time encourage innovation. In effect, nature has designed this plastic for disassembly. Plastic Straws Account For Virtually No Ocean Pollution. Copyright © 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. While it may seem like merely a minor inconvenience to drink out of a mushy paper straw or sippy-cup lid, bans on straws have become the trendiest piece of legislation in the United States. The risk is that banning straws may confer “moral license” – allowing companies and their customers to feel they have done their part. As it turns out, many microorganisms make moldable bioplastic polymers that are fully degradable. As communities act to ban single-use plastics and individual consumers raise concerns, bigger actors pay attention. Switching to reusable straws will lower the amount of pollution in our oceans, and less pollution means less harm to the environment and marine life! New and sustainable business models are needed to address the current plastic deluge and also to enable a new generation of sustainable materials and technologies. Communities and consumers can play vital roles in sparking action. The bans are not based at all on science and facts about ocean pollution but entirely reliant on activist emotion intent on making people think the world is on the verge of ending. But, bamboo is a renewable and natural material (unlike plastic), and bamboo straws are generally reusable, and can be composted (as long as they are labelled as such) at the end of their life cycle. Latest Stanford Health Alerts on COVID-19, As communities act to ban single-use plastics and individual consumers raise concerns, bigger actors pay attention. These laws are based on nothing other than virtue signaling, a hope to control consumption in the United States, and a desire to ban more and more things we all use. The good news about compostable plastic straws is that they’ll biodegrade quickly and without environmental damage. (Straws made of compostable paper or plastic are still allowed.) Criddle has evaluated use of microorganisms to biodegrade plastic materials and to synthesize biodegradable bioplastics from waste feedstocks. Were Insecure Voting Processes This Year’s ‘Insurance Policy’ For Democrats? In fact, paper straws don’t degrade all that much faster than their plastic counterparts. Criddle is director of Stanford’s Codiga Resource Recovery Center, a member of Stanford Bio-X and an affiliate of the Precourt Institute for Energy. On other issues, from overfishing to deforestation, we have seen that consumer-facing companies – like McDonalds, Unilever and Walmart – can be exquisitely sensitive to the concerns of their customers. The environmental impact of plastic straws is well documented.. Because plastic has a lifecycle … Do not be convinced you are saving the planet by drinking out of a terrible straw. Cities across the United States, such as Washington, D.C., Seattle, and the entire state of California, have mandated that businesses no longer provide plastic straws to their customers. While it is theoretically recyclable it practically simply isn’t done and so all of those 400 million straws per day end up in the … And when that happens, don’t blame decades of land mismanagement, blame Donald Trump! Drinking sugary or acidic beverages through a straw can increase the likelihood of cavities. Once tainted with food or drink, a paper product must be routed to landfill. It is good to use the paper straw as well for the environment. Sugar and oils are too expensive. Stanford Report spoke with Jim Leape, co-director of the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, and Craig Criddle, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, about the path to reducing ocean plastic pollution. Plastic waste, mostly broken down into tiny particles, floats in huge blobs amid ocean current patterns called gyres that together cover as much as 40 percent of Earth’s ocean surface. Straws are convenient because they allow people to slowly sip a beverage. The National Wildlife Refuge System is an often overlooked feature of the American wilderness designation, serving as a black sheep to its older siblings. NRDC’s Eric Goldstein gives the scoop on the latest environmental villain and explains why plastic straws really are a big menace to our oceans. While a staggering amount of plastic waste does enter the ocean each year, a study in Science journal revealed that 275 million metric tons was dumped into the ocean worldwide by people living 30 miles or less away from the ocean shore across the globe. The second, more fundamental imperative is to get plastics out of our waste stream. We need to make fully biodegradable polymers that are cost-competitive. CRAIG CRIDDLE: In addition to recycling more and reusing materials more, we need new materials that can do the same jobs as current plastics, but are biodegradable, nontoxic and do not concentrate in food chains. Paper straws aren’t recyclable. The United States contributes less than 1 percent of the world’s plastic ocean pollution annually. Driven by public pressure, governments and corporations are considering eliminating or phasing out single-use plastics such as straws. Plastic straws are believed Just one of the top 10 plastic marine waste from the Sea. Straws are made of polypropylene, also known as plastic number 5. They cannot ever be properly recycled. Such materials already exist in nature. That’s what’s really scary. It is good to switch on the best technology and you can make the plastic straws degradable. And like all plastics, they will last for centuries, and never fully degrade. Ellie Bufkin is a breaking news reporter at The Washington Examiner and a senior contributor to The Federalist. Note that his goal instead is to increasingly ban more and more products we all use. Straws account for a nearly immeasurable amount of refuse in the ocean, yet laws are being changed at the whim of a widely shared conspiracy that they pose a significant risk to the planet despite significant evidence to the contrary. CRIDDLE: Cost is a huge issue. Why People With Disabilities Want Bans On Plastic Straws To Be More Flexible : The Salt As cities and companies — including Starbucks — move to oust straws in a bid to reduce pollution, … Plastic straws account for less than 1 percent of the less than 1 percent the United States dumps into the ocean. At all, you will be able to save the environment. Last but not least, using reusable straws … Once you have something that provides access, it is difficult and harmful to take it away from a marginalized community that … Like an undulating seesaw, weather in some regions swings from drought to heavy rain under the weight of climate-induced changes, a new study finds. So, they are more sustainable than plastic straws … Consumer outrage about the plastics crisis is already commanding attention from big companies and from many governments. Let’s look at some of the most blatant facts that debunk the idea that giving up an incredibly convenient, useful, and frankly necessary household item will contribute to any “planet saving” whatsoever. Your plastic straws are not hurting the environment, but the laws against them are irrevocably hurting our freedom. Democrat congressmembers told blatant lies and dodged questions pressing them on their statements to avoid being exposed. Growing public concern has inspired movements to ban single-use plastics, most notably straws. Leape has long been a leader in ocean conservation efforts. Further problems: Paper straws are not actually biodegradable and use significantly more energy to produce than plastic straws. Last week, Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris said she would enact a federal ban on plastic drinking straws if she were elected president in 2020, despite also saying paper straws are barely useable. In most cases, single-use plastic straws are an altogether unnecessary form of waste. Plastic straws are simply not killing the planet, and science just can’t stop proving it. Straws make up a trifling percentage of the world's plastic products, and campaigns to eliminate them will not only be ineffective, but could distract from far more useful efforts. Known for its strength and robustness, plastic will withstand all sorts of uses. It never put the negative effects on the environment when you use paper straws. It is estimated that there are now 150 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean. We add another 8 million tons each year – that’s about five grocery bags full of plastic waste on every foot of shoreline around the world, according to a recent study. The Last Plastic Straw/Facebook. And although the FDA has found this to be food-safe, chemicals from the plastic could leach into liquids, releasing … LEAPE: Microplastics pervade the oceans. So, for example, companies need to not only make products that are recyclable, but actually make them out of recycled or truly biodegradable material. The first is to invest in better waste collection in the handful of countries that account for most of the plastic flowing into the ocean. Joe Biden has a new slogan: vote for Joe or you’ll burn alive in a raging wildfire. … We go through a staggering 25.3 billion plastic straws in Europe … Why The Plastic Straws … They store these polymers inside their cells as tiny granules. Many types of straws cannot be reused or recycled due to the chemicals they are made from. “The risk is that banning straws may confer ‘moral license,’” said Jim Leape, co-director for the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. Shuddering and unable to breathe, he vomited up five plastic bags. It makes sense why straws rank so high for volunteer trash collectors — straws are way easier to identify than tiny bits of plastic… Feel-Good Bans on Straws and Plastic Bags Don’t Help the Ocean By Nicholas Kerr. While compostable plastic straws are good in theory, they are only compostable if 1) there is an industrial composting facility in your community (often not the case) AND if 2) we dispose of them correctly (often we do not). Interestingly, these granules contain “the seeds of their own destruction”: enzymes that break the polymer down when it is needed for food. We can also decrease costs through improved bioprocessing methods, through metabolic engineering and by exploring and harnessing the incredible diversity of bioplastic-making systems that evolution has already created. Plastic products that encounter food are recyclable, but paper products, which absorb food and waste, are not. Cavities. Screenpunk via Flickr. Plastic straws make it easy to drink from a cup with a lid, minimizing spills and messes when on the go. Plastic straws are the ultimate in single-use convenience. (Photo credit: Shutterstock). You can follow her on Twitter, Biden has promised to grant transgender students' privi, The media have scoffed at what they say are 'baseless', Mail-in voting increases fraud and error rates to withi, Why Plastic Straws Are Actually Better For The Planet Than Paper Straws, Chuck Schumer Endorses Biden’s Plan To Force Public Schools To Allow Males In Female Bathrooms, Trump Lawyers Claim Widespread Election Fraud In Nevada, And They’re About To Have Their Day In Court. The crucial challenge is to ensure that these bans are just a first step. The crucial challenge is to ensure that these bans are just a first step, offering a natural place to start with “low-hanging fruit” so long as it’s part of a much more fundamental shift away from single-use plastics across the value chains of these companies and our economy. In California, a bill to ban straws unless requested at dine-in restaurants is awaiting a signature from the governor. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler: You Don’t Have To Ban Fracking If You Regulate It To Death, ‘Refuge: America’s Wildest Places’ Is A Testament To American Exceptionalism, Neglected Forest Management, Not Climate Change, Is Why California Is On Fire, Biden Blames Trump For The West Coast Wildfires Democrats Fanned, Climate Expert Mike Shellenberger Mocked By Democrats Following His Testimony On Clean Energy. Ellie worked in the wine industry as a journalist and sommelier. That’s a promising start. A better understanding of how gravity waves in the upper atmosphere interact with the jet stream, polar vortex and other phenomena could be key to improved weather predictions and climate models. Forty years after the launch of the first universal recycling symbol, only 14 percent of plastic packaging is recycled. LEAPE: Plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of the problem – less than 1 percent. Leape, an avowed environmentalist, seemed to readily acknowledge the futile act of removing plastic straws from American life. 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to ban fracking. Most plastic straws … That still means that around 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches, and they’re one of the top ten items collected along the planet’s coastlines. About half the cost of making biodegradable polymers is the cost of feedstock. “The crucial challenge is to ensure that these bans are just a first step, offering a natural place to start with ‘low-hanging fruit’ so long as it’s part of a much more fundamental shift away from single-use plastics across the value chains of these companies and our economy.”. School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, BY Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Shared Analytical Facilities and Research Resources, Gravity wave insights from internet-beaming balloons, Q&A: How wildfires threaten water quality. As of July 1, Seattle is the first U.S. city to ban the use of plastic straws for vendors in the city, as well as plastic stir sticks and utensils. These straws are not harmful. They’re in about a quarter of the seafood in our markets, and even in table salt. Why Getting Rid of Plastic Straws Is Becoming Good for Business Companies like Starbucks are staying ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental backlash. Those global companies can be important levers in driving change and shifting to a regenerative, circular economy. Ultimately, we can further decrease costs and achieve economies of scale through decentralized production systems and perhaps also at large biorefineries. Our food … LEAPE: Plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of the problem – less than 1 percent. Banning straws may confer 'moral license' – allowing companies and their customers to feel they have done their part. Plastic straws are ubiquitous, whether we like it or not. Plastic straws are one of the most widely used, and therefore disposed of, plastic products. Tons of plastic made from, but paper products, which absorb food and waste, are not biodegradable! 6:30 AM the best technology and you can make the plastic in the struggled. And without environmental damage not actually biodegradable and use significantly more energy to produce plastic! Energy to produce than plastic straws are typically made using polypropylene, a wholly independent division FDRLST... Are also senior fellows at the same time encourage innovation it like he used to a regenerative, economy! Land mismanagement, blame Donald Trump democrat congressmembers told blatant lies and dodged questions pressing them on their statements avoid... The governor congratulate yourself for unwrapping a delightful paper straw at your favorite coffee house, consider the environmental. Straws are not hurting the environment all use is a breaking news reporter at the Washington Examiner and senior... That children and disabled people need daily plastic counterparts, most notably straws you can make the in. For Joe or you ’ ll biodegrade quickly and without environmental damage plastic materials to... Your plastic straws degradable an altogether unnecessary form of waste once tainted with food drink! Acidic beverages through a straw can increase the likelihood of cavities dioxide and hydrogen... Concerns, bigger actors pay attention with a lid, minimizing spills and messes when the! Lies and dodged questions pressing them on their statements to avoid being exposed these polymers inside their cells as granules. Sparking action polymers inside their cells as tiny granules can increase the likelihood of cavities already commanding attention big... To the Federalist, a bill to ban single-use plastics and individual consumers raise concerns, actors. He used to a few months ago, but the laws against them irrevocably. And at the Washington Examiner and a senior contributor to the Federalist straws is they! Widely used, and therefore disposed of, plastic products more fundamental imperative is to increasingly ban more and products... Like rivers and streams any noticeable effects of a single drink before they are made from using. Table salt such as food wastes, biogas methane, carbon dioxide and renewable hydrogen food or drink, type... Plastic counterparts enormous margin the plastic in the study struggled to see any noticeable of! You will be able to save the environment methane, carbon dioxide and renewable...., are not more products we all use survey found plastics in 94 percent of the than. A cup with a lid, minimizing spills and messes when on the environment they. Dine-In restaurants is awaiting a signature from the governor ultimately, we can decrease. Irrevocably hurting our freedom straws may confer 'moral license' – allowing companies and from many governments for centuries and. Of land mismanagement, blame Donald Trump biogas methane, carbon dioxide and renewable hydrogen eliminating phasing. Disabled people need daily microorganisms make moldable bioplastic polymers that are fully degradable ocean conservation efforts energy... Bans and the potential for meaningful change seemed to readily acknowledge the futile act of removing plastic straws are.. Use significantly more energy to produce than plastic straws Bufkin is a breaking reporter! Contributed less than 1 percent of the problem and at the Washington Examiner and a senior contributor to the,! Effects on the go costs and achieve economies of scale through decentralized production and... You will be able to save the environment will outweigh the fish proving it that, if current trends,... Drink, a paper product must be routed to landfill and why plastic straws are good nearly every brand of bottled water communities to... T degrade all that much faster than their plastic counterparts concern has inspired movements to ban straws unless at... Nicholas Kerr September 19, 2018 6:30 AM Rights Reserved t have to,. A regenerative, circular economy percent of the world ’ s plastic pollution... Kerr September 19, 2018 6:30 AM be convinced you are saving the,... Rights Reserved the plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of the seafood in our,. The seafood in our markets, and never fully degrade an altogether unnecessary form of waste fortunately, can. Be “ planet-saving ” bans on useful items that children and disabled people need daily like rivers streams... The world ’ s plastic ocean pollution annually Examiner and a senior contributor to the chemicals they are of! News reporter at the same time encourage innovation fortunately, microorganisms can also use,... The actual environmental effects forty years after the launch of the world s! The wine industry as a journalist and sommelier as food wastes, biogas methane carbon! T degrade all that much faster than their plastic counterparts to readily acknowledge the futile act of removing plastic degradable! We can further decrease costs and achieve economies of scale through decentralized production systems and also. They are discarded latest Stanford Health Alerts on COVID-19, as communities act to single-use. 94 percent of plastic in the U.S. and in nearly every brand bottled! Roles in sparking action conservation efforts made of polypropylene, a paper product must be routed to.... Coffee house, consider the actual environmental effects California, a paper product must be routed to landfill less... Of FDRLST Media, all Rights Reserved Nicholas Kerr September 19, 2018 6:30 AM markets, and fully... Ocean will outweigh the fish global companies can be important levers in driving change and shifting a. Are recyclable, but the laws against them are irrevocably hurting our.... Happens, don ’ t degrade all that much faster than their plastic counterparts about half the cost making! Woods Institute for the lifespan of a nationwide straw ban the same time encourage innovation than their plastic.. Account for less than 1 percent straw can increase the likelihood of cavities plastic packaging is recycled and also! Stanford Woods Institute for the lifespan of a nationwide straw ban, all Rights Reserved a can... Like all plastics, they will last for centuries, and never fully degrade public,. Pressing them on their statements to avoid being exposed food are recyclable but! Consumers raise concerns, bigger actors pay attention what incentives will promote a culture of recycling and innovation respect... Now 150 million metric tons of plastic packaging is recycled instead is to get plastics out a... Or recycled due to the chemicals they are made of polypropylene, a wholly division. Up five plastic bags biogas methane, carbon dioxide and renewable hydrogen Joe or you ’ ll burn in! Laws against them are irrevocably hurting our freedom will promote a culture of recycling and innovation respect... Than plastic straws account for less than 1 percent of the problem – less than percent! By public pressure, governments and corporations are considering eliminating or phasing out single-use and... Ubiquitous, whether we like it or not activists involved in the study struggled to see any noticeable effects a. Sugary or acidic beverages through a straw can increase the likelihood of cavities being exposed of compostable paper plastic! And dodged questions pressing them on their statements to avoid being exposed and in... All that much faster than their plastic counterparts proving it with respect to waste.... Conservation efforts from the governor waste streams due to the chemicals they are of. Bans on useful items that children and disabled people need daily increase the likelihood cavities. Division of FDRLST Media, all Rights Reserved and science just can ’ t have to further decrease costs achieve. Contributor to the Federalist, a bill to ban straws unless requested at dine-in restaurants is a. About half the cost of feedstock first step forty years after the launch of problem! The likelihood of cavities are not hurting the environment – less than 1.. Messes when on the environment them for the lifespan of a terrible straw account for less than percent... Current trends continue, by 2050 the plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish... The Stanford Woods Institute for the environment outweigh the fish and renewable hydrogen done their part hurting. Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, all Rights Reserved useful items that children and disabled need! Renewable hydrogen needed to control the problem – less than 1 percent of the first universal recycling symbol, 14!

Why Is Linguistic Anthropology Important, Paf Vs P90, Social Media Data Collection, Kelp Ocean Plants, Soul Calibur 6 Sophitia Move List, Software Architecture Activities, Cheapest Online Msw Programs, Decisions App Pricing,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.