Prickly plastic facts
– Up to 80% of the oceans’ litter consists of plastic. More than eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year, which is equivalent to dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute – United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
– Animals can get tangled up in this trash or ingest it either because they mistake it as prey or because the plastic has been broken down into tiny particles by seawater. These particles do not biodegrade and will remain in the water for centuries.
– Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium have calculated that shellfish lovers there are eating up to 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year! Humans absorb fewer than 1% of that, but they will still accumulate in the body over time, according to a report in (tinyurl.com/GuardianMakanPlastic). – Even microscopic zooplankton have been captured on film eating microplastic – tiny particles broken down from plastic bags, bottles, and other garbage. Fish eat these tiny organisms – and then humans eat fish. Place the wax inside a bottle. Fill the boiler with water until it is almost full. Put bottle into the boiler (Do NOT boil the wax directly in the boiler). Turn the heat to medium-low until the wax melts. Choose paper that is less absorbent than wax and cut the paper into strips of about 4cm wide and 30cm long. Decorate one half of the paper (across the length of it) with edible ink. Put a thin layer of glue on one end of the paper strip. Place the chopstick at an angle of approximately 15-20 degrees on the other end of the strip and start rolling the paper. If the angle is too big, spirals are closer to each other and vice versa. At the end, stick the edges of the paper together (but not too tightly as it will be very hard to remove the chopstick after that). Pull the chopstick out of the paper and trim the sharp, rolled up edges with scissors. Dip the straw into the melted wax for two to three seconds. Remove and place it on a paper towel to wipe off the excess wax gently. 10. Do the same with the other end of the straw until it is completely covered with wax. Other than paper straws, bamboo straws are another eco-friendly alternative. Bamboo straws are usually made from thin bamboo stalks and also have antibacterial properties.
As for stainless steel straws, these can be carried around easily without fear of breakage. Or just stop using straws
A sample of microplastics collected from the sea by Plastic Free Seas, a Hong Kong eco charity. – Filepic