THE LAST STRAW
Should we really stop using single-use plastic straws?
The heat here in Malaysia, and in many other countries this summer, has been intense – all thanks to climate change and global warming.
KEEP IN MIND
Did you know that each plastic straw takes up to 200 years to decompose? The past year, it was reported in a few national newspapers that Malaysians use up to 31 million straws per day, amounting to 11.3 billion a year. To put things into perspective, in the UK, 8.5 billion plastic straws are disposed of each year. Single-use plastic straws have been identified as a contributor to climate change.
Sue Yee, co-founder of Zero Waste Malaysia and Carolyn Lau, cofounder of Sampah, Menyampah – who started the Tak Nak Straw initiative – agree that people have become more aware of the effects of environmental pollution. “Last year, if you said ‘tak nak straw' when ordering drinks, it would have entailed a two-minute conversation just for them to understand your order. Now, the waiters hardly bat an eyelid,” Carolyn affirms.
“It's such a mindless, ingrained habit to serve a drink with a straw these days (it wasn't as rampant 15 years ago). So, it's a hard habit to break but with mindfulness, changes can be made,” Carolyn emphasises. She adds, “More eateries have stopped serving straws, giving them out only on request. You can check out which places these are on the Tak Nak Straw map.” Sue Yee also points out that instead of complaining about environmental issues, we should encourage everyone to incorporate environmentally-conscious habits.
Sue Yee, co-founder of Zero Waste Malaysia
Carolyn Lau, co-founder of Sampah, Menyampa