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Plastic-Free July Challenge #4: Decline a Plastic Straw 🥤

Updated: Aug 31, 2020


Single-use plastic straw. One of the sources of plastic pollution
Single-use plastic straws. One of the sources of ocean plastic pollution

Today we ask everyone to refuse plastic straws. This plastic polluting culprit has appeared many times during our clean-ups. It is especially easy for these thin tubes of plastic to fall into our sewers, which then travel their way to the ocean and get ingested by marine life.


Littered plastic straw and drink lid
littered plastic bottle and straw

 

How is a plastic straw harmful if I dispose of it properly?


Disposed plastic straw and cup

We should all do our part to dispose of litter properly. Disposing a straw into the litter bin reduces the chances of it entering our sewers, but there is no guarantee. After all, we do not control what happens to litter after it gets collected; or even before the garbage truck arrives.



Any litter in an outdoor bin can be lifted away by wind or rain; or scattered around by skunks, raccoons or any hungry creature going through our garbage.


It is also common for garbage to fly off from the top, or the rear, of a garbage truck. This is the reason we often see litter along the road. And finally, after the garbage reaches our landfills, it is continually scattered by nature.




Every year more than 8 million tons of plastics are dumped into our oceans. But would humanity produce so much ocean litter on purpose? A great sum of litter, even if properly disposed, ends up into our oceans. In fact, approximately 80% of the plastic litter in our oceans comes from the land.


Litter spotted along Highway 401 - Toronto, Ontario

Paper straws are recyclable

In Canada and the United States alone, estimates suggest that close to 557 million straws are used every single day.


Plastic straws are an easy item to eliminate from our lives as they are non-essential and there are cheap alternatives available.






What can I do if I cannot control where my discarded litter goes?


Delicious citrus drinks without plastic straws!


We can reduce how much litter we produce - especially those coming from single-use plastic, and declining plastic straws is a simple place to start.






Glasses of water without plastic straws

We may not use straws at home very often. In a restaurant or at a take-out however, beverages are often served with straws even if you do not ask for one. Therefore it is important to tell your server "no straws" before you take your order. You can even do this before getting seated - to make sure your complimentary water does not come with a straw.

Metal straws by Boho and Hobo


If you need a straw, opt for a *paper straw; or better yet a reusable *metal, *glass or bamboo straw.


(*As an Amazon Associate OnePieceADay earns from qualifying purchases)


Unlike plastic, metal can be melted down, and reused over and over again, glass is recyclable, and bamboo is 100% biodegradable. Reusable straws can be found through merchants like Boho & Hobo and Ola Bamboo or in the OnePieceADay Market Place



What can I do if I have an unfinished pack of plastic straws?


A necklace threaded through a plastic straw

Plastic straws can be used for more than just sipping a beverage; they can be creative decorations, necklace organizers and more.


For more ideas and inspiration, check out these fascinating articles:


BobVila.com:


One Good Thing by Jillee




 

Today’s Challenge:

  • Decline a plastic straw! Skip it altogether, or opt for a reusable alternative (i.e. metal, glass, bamboo). A wide bamboo straw is great for smoothies and bubble tea!

  • Share a photo of your favourite reusable straw, tag @onepieceaday1, and use the hashtag #OPADPlasticFreeJuly to earn 1 ENTRY!


How can I win prizes?


Step 1: Follow @onepieceaday1

Step 2: Tag a friend! (optional)

Step 3: Share a photo (to your story OR your feed) of you completing each challenge for 1 ENTRY, tag @onepieceaday1, and use the hashtag #OPADPlasticFreeJuly.

Step 4: Log your refusal on the OnePieceADay app!


Each day is a new opportunity to increase your chances. Your total entries will be counted at the end of the month and be entered into a draw to win a zero-waste prize pack. Be sure to stick around for more chances to win!


Questions? Drop them below!


 


Tomorrow get your coffee in a reusable cup!


Drinking from a reusable coffee cup during work

What is better than a cup of coffee in the morning? Having one in a reusable cup that will not be littered in the streets!


Did you know that coffee cups cannot be recycled? This is because they are usually lined with a membrane of polyethylene - a film of plastic that keeps them waterproof.


Stay tuned tomorrow to learn how we can drink coffee more responsibly ☕


 

Associated Links:

Ola Bamboo Instagram


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