THE LAST STRAW

Should we re­ally stop us­ing sin­gle-use plas­tic straws?

Herworld (Malaysia) - - HER LIFE -

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.

RECEPTIVITY

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.

BE­ING MIND­FUL

“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

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