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

All throughout social media and sometimes even the news, there has been a craze about “saving the turtles” by replacing plastic straws with metal ones. The reason for this? There has been speculation that the plastic straws we use are often polluted into our oceans, which leads to turtles consuming it and harming themselves. However, are we actually saving the planet by replacing our ever-present plastic straw with metal ones? Well, I’ve decided to get to the bottom of things.

Courtesy: Pinterest

So let’s put into perspective exactly how much plastic goes into our oceans. According to a recent article by Conserve Energy Future, “the biggest source of pollution in the ocean is directly from land-based sources, such as oil, dirt, septic tanks, farms, ranches, motor vehicles, among larger sources. Thousands of tons of waste and trash are dumped into the ocean on a daily basis.” Alright, so basically there are different ways in which the oceans are suffering because of human waste but how much has plastic pollution contributed to it? Let’s take another look, shall we? Surfers Against Sewage reports that “current estimates show that at least 8 million pieces of plastic are entering the oceans every single day.”

Courtesy: The Outbound Collective

But how much of an impact do plastic straws have on the marine environment, such as turtles? Well, to put in perspective of exactly how much plastic straws contribute to the plastic waste, in an article by National Geographic it states “eight million tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year, and straws comprise just 0.025 percent of that.” In other words, although plastic straws are under the category of plastic pollution entering the marine environment, only a small percentage of it contributes to it on the larger scale of things.

The point I am trying to make here is that although it is a considerable thought to switch from plastic straws to metal ones to “save the turtles,” we need to realize that in order to truly save these precious sea creatures, drastic changes need to be made.

One of the biggest forms of pollution in our oceans comes from the actual toxic waste from land and factories. In an article by World Atlas, they expressed how “there can be several causes of ocean pollution, but the leading causes include sewage, toxic chemicals from industries, nuclear waste, thermal pollution, plastics, acid rain, and oil spillage.”

Courtesy: News Observer                              

Yes, society as a whole should contribute to reducing the amount of plastic being polluted into our environment but in the same regards, it is time that big corporations start to take responsibility for the amount of toxic waste they create. Judging by the amount and how large most of the factories these companies own are, it is safe to say that they should be responsible for helping the environment be in a healthier state.

If we all work together to make our world a better place to live, we can then truly save all of the marine animals as well as keep our beautiful oceans. A clean and healthy Earth is a stable and safe Earth.

Courtesy: ClipArt Wiki

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Madelyn Mairena is currently a Senior majoring in Advertising at Florida State University. She has been a writer for Her Campus since her freshman year and has found a passion for getting down to the nitty-gritty details of hot topics, as well as interviewing inspiring leaders and artists. For all business inquiries, please reach out to her at madelynstar11@gmail.com.
Her Campus at Florida State University.