Marine Pollution – National Geographic on Plastic Straws

Little plastics and lightweight plastics, rarely end up recycling bins; the evidence of this marine pollution is clearly visible on any beach. Straws are of particular concern of late.  And although straws result in a tiny portion of ocean waste, their size makes them one of the most prolific polluters because they ensnare marine wildlife and are digested by large aquatic animals. This marine pollution is very real.

Of the eight million tons of plastic trash that pollute marine habitats, the plastic drinking straw is surely a contributor to all that tonnage. Straws are the latest on an expanding list of individual plastic items being outlawed, heavily taxed, or outright boycotted in an effort to curb plastic marine pollution before it outweighs fish, a calculation projected to occur by 2050.

As straws proliferated into wide spread marine pollution, so did anti-straw campaigns. Some non-profit groups have attention-getting names like Straw Wars, in London’s Soho neighborhood, or Straws Suck, used by the worldwide Surfrider Foundation. Other volunteer groups have been organized by pint-sized environmentalists, such as the OneLessStrawcampaign, set up by a sister-and-brother team, Olivia Ries and Carter Ries, when they were aged 7 and 8.  OKSTRAW™ is doing our part to contribute to these efforts as well to fight marine pollution.

For context, last fall, California became the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags, joining a host of nations that already do so, including Kenya, China, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Macedonia. France not only banned plastic bags, it has become the first country to also ban plastic plates, cups, and utensils, beginning in 2020. San Francisco banned polystyrene, including Styrofoam cups and food containers, packaging peanuts, and beach toys.  Marine Pollution is a serious issue, being confronted by countries and cities world wide.