A March 2017 study concluded that we spend nearly five years of our life on social media. That’s kind of a scary thought, but at the same time, it’s really easy to get caught up. Especially in cat videos. Aren’t they so cute?
Hold up, though. Have you seen the video of the turtle having a plastic straw forcefully pulled from its nostril? That’s not so cute, is it? The 2015 video is horrific, actually. The straw — just one of many plastics that float in the ocean — was finally pulled free, but it’s a heartbreaking video to watch. Seeing that creature in pain, due to human negligence, is difficult to watch, but it also added necessary fuel to a movement.
After all, I’m sure you’ve heard about the potential bans on plastic straws. Starbucks has said they won’t be using them by 2020. California Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2018 that banned the use of plastic straws in full-service restaurants, but a customer can still request one. In July 2019, Seattle became the major U.S. city to ban plastic straws and utensils. As an environmental public relations firm, this kind of news is amazing to hear, and we hope more companies, cities and states follow suit.
A Business Insider story reported that less than 9 percent of plastic is recycled. Instead, it sits in a landfill or makes its way out into the ocean, proving hazardous to marine animals and the environment. It’d be impossible for me to guesstimate how many plastic straws are thrown away every day, but I know the number is ridiculously high.
When I was a kid, I remember being told we had to cut the plastic rings that connected six-packs of soda cans because sea animals could get them wrapped around their neck. I knew it was wrong to litter — such as throwing things out the car window — but somehow I never connected that my trash had just as much of an impact. I used scissors on those rings, but I still threw them in the trash. I thought that by avoiding a choking hazard, I was doing my part.
At Orange Orchard, we know that every little thing an individual or business does can make a difference. Cutting plastic rings is helpful, but recycling is the big goal. Banning plastic straws is wonderful, but offering biodegradable straws is an even better option because there are people that will request one anyway. For organizations and businesses out there working to make a difference in the environment, we applaud you. We also invite you to take the next step and give us a call. We’d love to help.