I’ve mentioned our plastic problem before, but what many people don’t realize that one of the biggest culprits contributing to the problem is a product they probably use on a daily basis — plastic straws.
Nowadays plastic straws come in nearly every single drink you consume — from your iced coffee in the morning, to your soda at lunch, to your cocktail at happy hour. And let’s be real, that quickly adds up to tons of straws.
According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, over 500,000 plastic straws are used and thrown away everyday in the United States alone. To put that into perspective, that adds up to 175 billion straws a year, just in the United States. And in case you’re more of a visual person, the fine people over at The Last Plastic Straw crunched some numbers for you. The number of straws that the U.S. uses every year is enough straws to wrap the circumference of the earth 2.5 times. Or, because it is now officially baseball season, enough to fill Yankee Stadium over 9 times in a year.
And just to remind you, some of the environmental issues surrounding plastic and plastic pollution:
- It is clogging our oceans and waterways. Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating in our oceans. (Need I remind you about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?) and it is estimated that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight.
- It is not biodegradable, instead it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.
- Those small pieces make it super easy for marine life to ingest. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it.
- It also starts to contaminate our food supply, as fish and other animals ingest it and it enters the food chain.
And that doesn’t even cover some of the potential health issues. I think by now everyone is aware of the BPA issues surrounding plastic, but here’s a quick refresher just in case. BPA, or Bisphenol-A, is often added to plastics in order to make them more durable. And unfortunately it can leach into our food (or drink in this case) through some of the products we use. It is known to disrupt hormones, leading to hormone imbalances or other serious health conditions. And, just FYI, switching to BPA-free plastic might not cut it, as bisphenol S (BPS), the chemical used to replace it may be just as harmful.
Another pesky thing about plastic is phthalates. Phthalates are added to plastics to make them more flexible. But, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), some phthalates have been known to affect the reproductive system of lab animals. Researchers have found measurable levels of phthalates in the general population, but say more research is needed.
Their straws are 4/10” wide and straight, which makes for really good chocolate shake sipping (or smoothie, I guess, if that’s your thing). They come in packs of five (fun for the whole family). And they are made from 18/8 Stainless Steel. Meaning they will last for years (won’t bend, break or rust), they are non toxic and BPA free, and they will help you do your part in reducing that 500 million number. They’re also dishwasher safe and come with a mini cleaning brush to make clean up a breeze.
Act now, and they will come in plastic free packaging, so you don’t have to worry about any packaging waste. Just kiddin, you can act whenever, they always use plastic free packaging (but in all seriousness, you should act now).
And, if you’re still not convinced, Eco at Heart also gives 5% of it’s profits to causes that help clean up our beaches and oceans — currently The Pacific Ocean Initiative and Greenpeace who both do extraordinary work protecting and keeping our oceans healthy.
With all that, I think you gotta admit that this is one company that does not suck (pun 1000% intended).