EVER heard of the phrase “Small but mighty”? This describes the role of plastic straws, which may be small but are extremely harmful to the environment and wildlife.
According to Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit environmental advocacy group based in Washington, DC, plastic has been found in 62% of all sea birds and in all sea turtle species.
Every year, volunteers around the world gather at the Ocean Conservancy’s international coastal cleanup event to collect trash and tally up what they find.
Straws come under the top 10 type of trash found in the world’s oceans, with an estimated 611,048 straws found annually.
In 2015, a group of marine biologists in Costa Rica found a sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nostril. The straw was about 10-12cm long. That incident served as another stark reminder of how plastic straws can harm marine life. So actually, that phrase “small but mighty” can be changed to “small but deadly” when it comes to the effect of plastic straws on sea creatures.
Marine species are attracted by the presence of plastic, thinking that the colourful material is a source of food. However, most plastics do not biodegrade in the ocean
Normal non-toxic white glue/ gelatin glue/corn starch glue Chopsticks or even existing straws
Paper (preferably sturdier A4 paper)
A bottle/jar (must be higher than half the straw) Scissors Boiler/cooking pot Paper towel (even those labelled bio-degradable), while others merely break down into microplastics (an almost invisible enemy).
Even if you don’t care about turtles, whales or birds choking on plastic, you may want to remember that our garbage will often boomerang back to us.
This is because when fish or clams consume microplastics, and humans eat them – the microplastics end back up in our bodies!
With the growing concern about the harmful effects of plastics straws, Sampah Menyampah, a voluntary eco group, has started the #TakNak Straw campaign to encourage the community not to use plastic straws.
For starters, why not just drink straight from the cup instead of using a straw?
However, if you really still want to use a straw, please consider alternatives like bamboo or stainless steel straws.
You can also have some fun making your own paper straw. Here’s how:
Plastic straws are often discarded after one use and end up polluting the environment and harming marine life like sea turtles. — Filepic