Why plastic straws are being banned? | 點解塑膠飲管會在世界各處被禁用?


Products made of plastic has always been part of our daily life.


In the Year 2017, researchers from University of California, Santa Cruz, found out that 91% of the plastic we use is not recycled and ends up in landfills or the ocean.


With statistics like this, governments and corporations begins to make efforts to solve pollution and it comes to propose the ban or cut back on plastic straws.


There are several major key events when it comes to banning plastic straws. In 1stJuly 2018, Seattle becomes the first major US city to ban plastic straws (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/07/01/seattle-becomes-first-major-u-s-city-to-ban-straws/?noredirect=on). In 15thJune 2018, we see McDonald’s taking steps in stop using plastic straws in the UK and Ireland (https://www.npr.org/2018/06/15/620367460/mcdonalds-says-its-ditching-plastic-straws-in-u-k-and-ireland) and aims to transit into using renewable or recyclable packaging by the year 2025.


Plastic straws are not the leading type of plastic waste and only accounts for about 2000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste that are disposed to the ocean every year (https://phys.org/news/2018-04-science-amount-straws-plastic-pollution.html). So why are we focusing on plastic straws all in a sudden?


The main driving reason for banning plastic straw is the size of the straw piece as a plastic waste. They are small and inconspicuous and often end up in the trash without even thinking of recycling them.


When the plastic straw actually goes into recycle, the mechanical recycling sorter fails to pick up the pieces because they are too small and lightweight.


It is estimated that more than 500 million plastic straws are used and thrown away everyday in the US alone and consumes about 1.6 straws per person per day on average. This figure would become 175 billion straws a year, in the US alone (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/05/23/sustainable-alternatives-plastic-straws-recyling/632993002/).


Furthermore, almost everyone saw the viral video of the sea turtle suffering (https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2015/10/27/the-turtle-that-became-the-anti-plastic-straw-poster-child) in 2015, which raise the awareness of the general public, government and corporations in understanding that plastic straw would be one of the global frontiers in fighting plastic waste.


Turtle With Plastic Straw In His Nose - from Youtube.

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