#TakNak Straw

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Ecowatch - By ONG JING WEN and BITRIN SOLUNGIN

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

Paraf­fin wax

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:

Tools:

Plas­tic straws are of­ten dis­carded af­ter one use and end up pol­lut­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and harm­ing marine life like sea tur­tles. — Filepic

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