Why are we asking you to “skip the straw”?

Plastic straws and stirrers are some of the main causes of plastic pollution of our oceans, streams, and other vulnerable living spaces. Plastic straws, which cannot be recycled, have been shown to harm sea turtles and other wildlife. Like all plastic waste, they eventually break down into tiny particles. In fact, we end up consuming the toxic byproducts in our food supply.

We, a coalition of midlands South Carolina organizations, want to end all plastic waste, and skipping straws and stirrers is the “low hanging fruit.” Many bars and restaurants automatically give these to each customer, regardless of need. So we are asking that these harmful products be issued by request only. With public education, we hope few people will request these items. If you truly need a straw, there are non-disposable options available. Watch the brief, but powerful, videos in the sidebar to get a vivid picture of the problem and solutions!

“It’s not that the straw is the worst plastic, or the most prevalent plastic, or the most deadly-to-aquatic-life plastic. It’s because the straw is … a ‘gateway plastic,’ insidious in its seeming innocence, in our inability to see it for what it really is: unnecessary, toxic flotsam, contributing to a mass of plastic garbage that will one day — by 2050, experts predict — literally outweigh all the fish in the sea. The straw should be an easy thing to forfeit, on the long list of pollutants worthy of boycott.” — 10/23/17 Washington Post: Consider the plastic drinking straw: Why do we suck so much?

And, if you think voluntarily refusing plastic is hard, check this out:

Public Shaming and Even Prison for Plastic Bag Use in Rwanda — “The nation’s zero tolerance policy toward plastic bags appears to be paying off: Streets in the capital, Kigali, and elsewhere across this hilly, densely populated country are virtually spotless. … Biodegradable bags are allowed only for frozen meat and fish, not for other items like fruit and vegetables because such bags still take as long as 24 months to decompose, the government says. …Children here are taught in schools not to use plastic bags and to cherish the environment. Smugglers are often held in detention centers or forced to write confessions in newspapers or broadcast them on the radio. Supermarkets caught selling food in plastic packaging are shut down until they pay a fine and write an apology. …” 10/28/17 NYTimes

Will you join in this effort simultaneously to save money and the planet one sip at a time?

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