That’s the Last Straw!

by | Jul 20, 2016 | Chemicals, Plastics | 0 comments

#Make American Plastic Straw Free Again

When I am paddle boarding the amount of floating plastic that I encounter along the way blows me away.

The majority of the offenders are plastic bottles & bags, mylar balloons, purple/pink tampon applicators and plastic straws!

It got me to thinking, if I am paddling in plastic straws, we are all swimming, diving, boarding, fishing & surfing in this plastic pollution, and if our food chain is eating it them so are we…ewwwww!

What can I do?

KTB Learning opportunity:

Educate myself – Change my behavior – Make a difference

Quick straw timeline:

  • 4000-5000 BC – The reed straw was first used in Mesopotamia to drink beer
  • 1600 AD –The metal straw or “bombilla” was first used to drink mate by South Americans
  • 1888 AD – The paper straw was invented by Martin C. Stone who owned a paper cigarette holder factory
  • 1938 AD – The plastic straw was invented by Joseph Friedman from Santa Monica, CA.
  • 1947 AD – The plastic straw hit the market

What are plastic straws made from?

  • Crude oil and natural gases are converted to hydrocarbon monomer polypropylene through a process called cracking.
  • Polypropylene is then mixed with other chemicals to produce a desired finished product – plasticizers like phthalates to make PVC soft, butadiene to make plastic #7 tough, and many others. Additional additives include antioxidants, bacteria, heat, UV light, pigment color, fillers and friction.
  • The material finally is cast, spun, molded, fabricated, extruded, or applied as a coating on another material to create the desired form and shape of the plastic.
  • Plastics are man made synthetic polymers.

Learn 3 plastic facts.

  • Plastic straws are in the top 10 most recovered beach litter
  • More than 500 million straws are used, for an average of 20 minutes, per day in America
  • Plastic straws can’t be recycled and will outlive you, me and our great grand children

Who can keep me informed?

The Last Plastic Straw

The Last Plastic Straw

The Last Plastic Straw strives to educate the public about the absurdity of single use plastic, its effects on our health, our environment, and our oceans. We aim to eliminate from the source, the use of single use plastic.

Plastic Pollution Coalition

Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, the ocean and the environment.

Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider is a community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground – the ocean, waves, and beaches that provide us so much enjoyment.

Action Items

R

Just say no to plastic straws

R

Purchase reed, paper, glass or metal straws

Measure my impact:

  • In 30 days, I refused 71 straws, stirrers, and plastic lids.
  • I take my KTB reed straw on the go with me just in case!

Jeanine Behr Getz, author and founder of Kids Think Big LLC. She is committed to environmental advocacy locally, nationally and abroad. Jeanine works with other organizations to raise awareness and improve the health of our children and the natural habitats that teach, inspire and sustain all.