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Let’s Talk About Plastic Straws

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

We all know that cute date idea where you and your significant other are sharing a milkshake out of two straws. It’s cute. It’s ideal. It’s also super terrible for the environment. 

We all know those hot summer days where you and your friends are driving home from the beach and you stop at Starbucks to get a nice ice-cold drink. It’s refreshing. It’s sweet. It’s also super terrible for the environment. 

Straws are extremely prevalent in our everyday lives and very few people actually realize how detrimental they are to the environment. Plastic straws are not biodegradable and their usefulness only lasts as long as your drink lasts.  

Taylor Mann, a student at Boston University, is president of BU’s Sustainable Oceans Alliance Chapter which is a national youth-led organization to save our oceans. Mann began the petition to make BU a straw conscious campus in 2018.

I spoke to Taylor about how she began the strawless initiative and she said, “I got started with the straw campaign when I saw an article about the Lonely Whale’s straw less ocean campaign in Seattle. I am a South Florida native, so the devastation a plastic straw could cause on marine life was heartbreaking. After summer break, I returned to BU and began working with the Lonely Whale foundation and sustainability to start the campaign on campus. The foundation actually put me in contact with the national Sustainable Oceans Alliance branch who helped me start a chapter on campus and the straw project quickly became our first initiative.”

According to Lonely Whale, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. That’s hard to comprehend, so I’m going to say it again. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. It’s insane how much plastic trash humans have created because they don’t realize how harmful plastic is to the environment. I personally think we should start listening to the 3 R rule: reuse, reduce, recycle and stop throwing plastic into the oceans.

There are of course ways to reduce the use of plastic straws. For one, stop using straws, they really aren’t that great. Secondly, there are paper compostable straws, which is what Mann is petitioning for BU to use instead of plastic straws. I bet you have never even though about the excessive amount of straws you use on a weekly basis, but I sure hope you start feeling bad for all those fish that have their homes invaded by plastic straws.

Photo Via Get Green Now 

I urge you to support Loney Whale’s #stopsucking campaign on both the university and national level to help clean up our oceans and keep the Earth clean. Sign the petition to make BU a straw conscious campus here!


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Delanie is a senior at Boston University who loves Pavement's iced tea and the Charles River. She has a passion for writing and is on an adventure to find the best coffee shop in Boston. 
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.