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Stop Plastic Pollution: Skip the Straw

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winona chapter.

Each year, thousands of plastic straws are thrown out and pollute the oceans and our earth. Think about how many straws you go through in a week. Maybe it was when you had a smoothie for breakfast, when out to eat at a restaurant, or when you got an iced mocha at Starbucks. Now imagine every person on earth contributing to using that many plastic straws every week. The amount of plastic everyone would waste would be immense and destroy our earth…and that is exactly what is happening.

February 25 is “National Skip the Straw Day” and everyone should be aware of the impact they are making by choosing to use plastic. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, “At least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, and plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.” It is absolutely insane how much we have destroyed our planet. Plastic impacts our marine life by poisoning or entangling them. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, “Most plastic straws simply break into ever-smaller particles, releasing chemicals into the soil, air, and water that are harmful to animals, plants, people, and the environment,”. We have to protect the environment we live in and not contribute to so much waste. By doing your part, you are helping make the world a better place and protecting the world we live in. 

So many retailers sell reusable straws at affordable prices like Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc. I personally keep a pack of metal straws in my purse at all times. Every time I find myself going out to dinner or getting a coffee in the morning, I remember that I carry around my own straws and I do not have to contribute to that extra plastic waste. You can even go a step beyond skipping the straw and use reusable water bottles, an electric or bamboo toothbrush, and carry your own bag when you go grocery shopping.  

Although February 25 is “Skip the Straw Day,” you should be skipping the straw every day to limit your carbon footprint. Use this day as a reminder of why it is important to be environmentally conscious. Think of all of the ways you can live more sustainably. If everyone does their part, over time, we will be able to restore so much of the destruction we have caused. 

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Maiah Lan

Winona '23