Should we ban plastic straws?

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Should we ban plastic straws?

Picture sourced from National Geographic

Picture sourced from National Geographic

Picture sourced from National Geographic

Picture sourced from National Geographic

Grace O'Neil, Staff Writer

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Should we ban plastic straws?

 

Plastic straws, once a modern day commodity, are now considered an environmental hazard and the topic of their use has become controversial. Many environmental activists wish to ban plastic straws in order to save the oceans and the turtles. Instead of using plastic straws, metal straws or paper straws are being marketed as viable substitutes so more plastic doesn’t end up in the oceans. Starbucks has already taken one billion plastic straws out of stores worldwide, and California passed a bill that restaurants should only offer plastic straws upon request.

 

To ban:

There is a serious problem of plastics in the ocean, with an approximate 150 million metric tons in our oceans currently, according to the Ocean Conservancy. Some of these plastics, including straws, are then swallowed, or otherwise become attached, to sea creatures. This is apparent by the infamous photo of the sea turtle that had a straw stuck in its nose, prompting this worldwide phenomenon.  Alternative straw supporter Abigail Burns says, “ I’ve heard we accumulate 127 school buses full of plastic straws every day. That’s insane. 

Or not to ban:

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Despite what people think is the correct approach, everyone can agree that something must be done to clear our oceans. Whether or not straws are banned, it is a necessary first few steps we must take to clean our oceans and save the turtles.