Single Use Plastic Straws: Are They Really Harmful?
For some years, corporations and companies have rallied together to ban single use plastic straws. As a modern society, we are far more attuned to both the environment and climate change. Great strides are being made everyday in all sectors and industries to curb the negative impact of our existence on the planet.
One of the ways people are hoping to achieve this is through the reduction of single use plastic. For some time plastic straws have been absent from restaurants, coffee shops and bars. This represents a collective effort to ban single use plastics, but do plastic straws hurt the environment? We at Panda Soft explore this in greater detail below.
The Single Use Plastic Straw Phenomenon
We describe the banning of single use plastic straws as a phenomenon because of its unprecedented popularity in recent years. Countless companies have joined the cause and are showing a huge commitment to reducing single use plastics. But it is not only companies and corporations that have shown a commitment to this cause. The public have displayed a great appetite for reducing the impacts of climate change and, subsequently, not using single use plastic straws. With all of us working hard to reduce our consumption of plastic straws, it begs the question: do plastic straws really make a difference? We explore this question below.
Do Plastic Straws Really Make a Difference?
So, are single use plastic straws as bad as we are led to believe? Well, the answer to that question is not straightforward. To answer this question, it requires us to look further than plastic straws as a singular cause of damage to the environment.
What we need to ask ourselves is does plastic, as a whole, really make a difference? The answer to that is yes. This shift to tackle plastic is hugely important, as plastics pollute the environment and wreak havoc on ecosystems. Firstly, plastics are not biodegradable. The polypropylene cannot be broken down by organisms, and thus stay in the environment for hundreds or even thousands of years. Resultantly, if they make their way into oceans, they are swallowed by animals. This is not only disastrous for ocean life but it can be, and usually is, fatal.
So, we can clearly determine that plastics pose a threat. But the data on whether plastic straws make a difference is varied. Some sources suggest that ‘’8 million tonnes of plastics flow into the ocean every year’’ and ‘’plastic straws merely comprise 0.025% of the total’’. Plastic straws themselves are certainly a contributing factor then, but you could argue that our gaze needs to be shifted to the bigger picture.
Do Plastic Straws Really Make a Difference? – A Counter Argument
There is, however, a counter argument. The campaign appears to be less about the plastic single use straw itself and more about conveying a message. So although plastic straws may only represent a small percentage of all plastic in the ocean, it has drawn the public’s attention to the issue. Nowadays, the banning of plastic straws is everywhere. It is difficult to find a plastic straw in a restaurant, take away eatery, bar or pub. It has been at the centre of media focus for some time and is championed by some of the world’s largest companies and corporations.
What this does is force a conversation and raise awareness about our excessive consumption of plastic, as well as the negative consequences. So, do plastic straws really make a difference? It could be certainly argued that they do. They are about creating accountability and responsibility amongst the public as well as generating a message.
Supporting the Environment With Panda Soft
We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and have gained an insight into the overarching purpose of banning single use plastic straws. The creation and consumption of single use plastics is not the only product that poses an environmental threat. Toilet paper also demands a great deal from the environment: from excessive water consumption to the death of copious amounts of trees.
At Panda Soft, we are committed to doing something about this. This is why we offer responsibly sourced, bamboo toilet paper. Our paper is environmentally friendly and constructed from sustainable materials. For more information on who we are or what we offer, visit our contact page. We have a dedicated team ready to deal with your enquiry.