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Single-Use Plastic Straws




Plastics & Human Health

Research shows that microplastics are in our drinking water, our food supply, and our bodies. This is known. And troubling. By 2050, virtually every seabird species on the planet will be eating plastic. The United Nations recently said that plastic-associated chemicals in food and our ground water may present an attributable risk to human health. Exposure has been linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, and other ailments. Continued research is needed to fully understand these health impacts, including investigations into the cumulative effects of the chemicals in plastics on the human body, and in our food supply chain.


Why Compostable Straws Aren’t the Answer

There are alternative straws being manufactured and marketed to the hospitality industry, including “compostable” plastic straws, some made from corn or potato starch and other ingredients. In most cases, compostable plastic straws will not be composted or biodegrade on their own. They need oxygen and sunshine to break down, neither of which is available in a landfill or in the ocean. Commercial or industrial composting facilities can be found in select locations, but more often than not, even where they are available, it is unlikely the compostable straws will end up there. It is most likely they will end up in regular trash bins, bound for landfills, or littering our streets and parks, bound for our waterways. In both cases, they will act like regular plastics and last many lifetimes intact or will slowly break into microplastics to be consumed by sea animals, fish, and birds.

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