Straws suck

The Goderich Signal-Star - - News -

The Lake Huron Cen­tre for Coastal Con­ser­va­tion (LHCCC) is a non-gov­ern­ment char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion es­tab­lished in 1998 with the goals of pro­tect­ing and restor­ing Lake Huron’s coastal en­vi­ron­ment, and sup­port­ing a healthy coastal ecosys­tem.

Ap­prox­i­mately 500 mil­lion plas­tic straws are used daily in the United States and thrown out af­ter one use. These 500 mil­lion straws could fill over 127 school buses each day.

In 2017, plas­tic straws were one of the top 10 items found dur­ing beach clean ups, with 17,654 straws picked up by vol­un­teers on Cana­dian shore­lines.

The Ocean Con­ser­vancy re­ported that world­wide over 400,000 straws were picked up in beach clean ups last year alone.

A plas­tic straw can take over 200 years to de­com­pose, and un­for­tu­nately plas­tic does not fully biode­grade and in­stead slowly breaks down into tiny pieces called ‘mi­croplas­tics.’

Dis­pos­able items, like straws, con­trib­ute to the mas­sive amount of plas­tic pol­lu­tion in the Great Lakes.

Lake Huron re­ceives ap­prox­i­mately 600 met­ric tons of plas­tic pol­lu­tion an­nu­ally, and one study found that there were 1.7 mil­lion pieces of mi­cro-plas­tics per square mile in Lake Erie; a higher den­sity than some parts of the Great Pa­cific Garbage Patch.

Plas­tic con­tin­ues to be found in the stom­achs of birds, and wildlife, which is detri­men­tal to their health and can of­ten leads to fa­tal­i­ties. The Lake Huron Coastal Cen­tre for Con­ser­va­tion is work­ing to com­bat the is­sue of plas­tic pol­lu­tion with their Mi­croplas­tic Aware­ness Project, and is thrilled to an­nounce a new part­ner­ship with Michi­gan-based glass straw man­u­fac­turer Strawe­some. Strawe­some is a fam­ily busi­ness work­ing to­wards aware­ness and ac­tion to elim­i­nate the need for sin­gle-use plas­tic drink­ing straws. Work­ing with the LHCCC, they have de­signed a Lake Huron themed glass straw for the Lake Huron Cen­tre for Coastal Con­ser­va­tion. The straw was in­spired by the en­dan­gered Pip­ing Plover shore­bird, which re­lies on healthy beach and dune ecosys­tems to sur­vive.

Around 33 per­cent of the sale of each straw is do­nated to the LHCCC to sup­port their work, which in­cludes hold­ing shore­line clean ups and mon­i­tor­ing the lake for mi­cro-plas­tics, along with restor­ing beaches and coastal wet­lands, pro­tect­ing Species at Risk, and ed­u­cat­ing youth about Great Lakes con­ser­va­tion.

The straws are avail­able for pur­chase at the LHCCC of­fice in down­town Goderich, or at www.strawe­some.com.

Erinn Lawrie, the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the LHCCC says, “Re­fus­ing sin­gle-use straws in restau­rants and switch­ing to a re­us­able straw is one small change peo­ple can make in their daily lives to make a large col­lec­tive im­pact. It is en­cour­ag­ing to see so many lo­cal busi­nesses like Cait’s Caf, and Pat & Kevin’s work­ing to­wards this as well by only serv­ing drinks with straws upon re­quest, or switch­ing to more ecofriendly paper straws.”

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