Most of us think it is a ‘given’ for restaurants to have ice and drinking straws. We ask for ‘no ice’ or even ‘less sugar’, but we almost never ask for ‘no straws’. Sometimes, things that are ‘a given’ are not always essential, but just a ‘habit’. The habit of using a plastic straw every time we consume a cold beverage has a huge negative impact on countless marine mammals. Furthermore, contaminants in plastic litter enter our food chain, ultimately damaging our health almost like ‘stabbing’ ourselves. (Source: Ocean park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong – No straw Campaign, 2018).
Malaysians use up about 31 million plastic straws every day, based on conservative estimates, and these would likely end up in landfills. (Source: The Star Online,). In support of the environment, our government has imposed the ban on the use of plastic drinking straws effective January 1, 2020, which is aimed at traders and operators of food outlets who are licensed holders.
Why straws are bad for the environment?
(Source: Get Green Now Article, Blog)
1. Plastics Straws can’t be easily recycled. It is made from polypropylene which is not accepted by most recycling programs.
2. Plastics do not Biodegrade, and never fully Degrade. It takes 200 years for a plastics straw to degrade but never be fully of the Earth. Degrading of plastic releases chemicals that are toxic to wildlife and the environment.
3. Straws are littered very often, and harm Ocean Wildlife. Straws are currently the 8th most found ocean trash in cleanups by quantity (January 2019)
Why straws are bad for health
(Source: Health Magazine)
1. Gas and Bloating – Sipping beverage is also ingesting excess air which is called aerophagia. The build-up of excess air in the gastrointestinal tract may translate into more burping to release the ingested air.
2. Develop Wrinkles – Regular basis means your muscles are going through the repetitive motion of pursing the lips. Repeating this movement breaks down the collagen near our mouth, causes permanent skin creases.
3. Higher risk of cavities and tooth decay – Sipping through straw retains the sugar or acid from any drink consumed which causes cavity.
4. Staining of teeth – Using the straw near our teeth causes staining. Unless we can protect our teeth, if the tip of the straw is in the back of the mouth and the liquid goes straight to the throat without touching the teeth.
5. Potentially Gain Weight – Straw causes us to drink more than sipping through a glass or cup. Sipping on high-calorie beverages, causes weight gain.
As we are prepping ahead for the plastic ban in 2020 with the government, let’s join our hands together and say NO TO STRAWS beginning today!