Yet despite these extremely easy-to-research facts, presidential candidates and lawmakers across the country have vowed to make these types of bans priorities — and it’s been effective. Typically we only use them for the lifespan of a single drink before they are discarded. LEAPE: Plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of the problem – less than 1 percent. Why The Plastic Straws … Our food … So before you congratulate yourself for unwrapping a delightful paper straw at your favorite coffee house, consider the actual environmental effects. NRDC’s Eric Goldstein gives the scoop on the latest environmental villain and explains why plastic straws really are a big menace to our oceans. It makes sense why straws rank so high for volunteer trash collectors — straws are way easier to identify than tiny bits of plastic… And when that happens, don’t blame decades of land mismanagement, blame Donald Trump! We should do likewise. We need to make fully biodegradable polymers that are cost-competitive. The good news about compostable plastic straws is that they’ll biodegrade quickly and without environmental damage. New and sustainable business models are needed to address the current plastic deluge and also to enable a new generation of sustainable materials and technologies. While a staggering amount of … JIM LEAPE: Our oceans are currently swimming with plastics. So, they are more sustainable than plastic straws … The risk is that banning straws may confer “moral license” – allowing companies and their customers to … As of July 1, Seattle is the first U.S. city to ban the use of plastic straws for vendors in the city, as well as plastic stir sticks and utensils. Many types of straws cannot be reused or recycled due to the chemicals they are made from. Shuddering and unable to breathe, he vomited up five plastic bags. He doesn’t say it like he used to a few months ago, but he doesn’t have to. Consumer outrage about the plastics crisis is already commanding attention from big companies and from many governments. Banning straws may confer 'moral license' – allowing companies and their customers to feel they have done their part. There is a lot of research now underway on the health effects of ocean plastics, but we already know that some plastics, and the chemicals that attach themselves to plastics in the water, can cause cancer, genetic disruptions and other ill effects. Democrat congressmembers told blatant lies and dodged questions pressing them on their statements to avoid being exposed. Were Insecure Voting Processes This Year’s ‘Insurance Policy’ For Democrats? Once you have something that provides access, it is difficult and harmful to take it away from a marginalized community that … Plastic straws are one of the most widely used, and therefore disposed of, plastic products. Known for its strength and robustness, plastic will withstand all sorts of uses. Do not be convinced you are saving the planet by drinking out of a terrible straw. China and Indonesia were the biggest contributors by an enormous margin. That’s what’s really scary. … Further problems: Paper straws are not actually biodegradable and use significantly more energy to produce than plastic straws. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler: You Don’t Have To Ban Fracking If You Regulate It To Death, ‘Refuge: America’s Wildest Places’ Is A Testament To American Exceptionalism, Neglected Forest Management, Not Climate Change, Is Why California Is On Fire, Biden Blames Trump For The West Coast Wildfires Democrats Fanned, Climate Expert Mike Shellenberger Mocked By Democrats Following His Testimony On Clean Energy. In fact, paper straws don’t degrade all that much faster than their plastic counterparts. Why People With Disabilities Want Bans On Plastic Straws To Be More Flexible : The Salt As cities and companies — including Starbucks — move to oust straws in a bid to reduce pollution, … Plastic Straws Account For Virtually No Ocean Pollution. Eco At Heart explains that plastic straws are one of the top ten most common items of trash found in the ocean. Compostable plastic straws are no better than regular plastic straws … Virtue-signaling lefties rejoice in what they consider to be “planet-saving” bans on useful items that children and disabled people need daily. About half the cost of making biodegradable polymers is the cost of feedstock. Criddle has evaluated use of microorganisms to biodegrade plastic materials and to synthesize biodegradable bioplastics from waste feedstocks. The New York City Council also recently introduced legislation to ban plastic straws … Sugar and oils are too expensive. That still means that around 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches, and they’re one of the top ten items collected along the planet’s coastlines. … Plastic straws are ubiquitous, whether we like it or not. The bans are not based at all on science and facts about ocean pollution but entirely reliant on activist emotion intent on making people think the world is on the verge of ending. Some Disabled People Require Plastic Straws to Drink For some people with disabilities, straws are … Screenpunk via Flickr. The Last Plastic Straw/Facebook. Also, the Starbucks anti-straw campaign was accelerated by a gruesome video showing a turtle impaled by a plastic straw and that same video is being used in other campaigns. 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to ban fracking. Most plastic straws … Plastic products that encounter food are recyclable, but paper products, which absorb food and waste, are not. LEAPE: There are two clear imperatives. Straws make up a trifling percentage of the world's plastic products, and campaigns to eliminate them will not only be ineffective, but could distract from far more useful efforts. The less-than-good news is that they have to be recycled at … You can follow her on Twitter, Biden has promised to grant transgender students' privi, The media have scoffed at what they say are 'baseless', Mail-in voting increases fraud and error rates to withi, Why Plastic Straws Are Actually Better For The Planet Than Paper Straws, Chuck Schumer Endorses Biden’s Plan To Force Public Schools To Allow Males In Female Bathrooms, Trump Lawyers Claim Widespread Election Fraud In Nevada, And They’re About To Have Their Day In Court. One wonders where that all might end? It never put the negative effects on the environment when you use paper straws. CRIDDLE: We need to think about what incentives will promote a culture of recycling and innovation with respect to waste streams. Other states such as Hawaii, cities such as Seattle and New York, and corporations such as Amazon and Starbucks are also considering or have initiated plastic phase-out plans. Stanford hydrologist Newsha Ajami, an appointee to California’s regional water quality board, discusses how wildfires affect water quality, and how we can better prepare for and react to the challenges. The first is to invest in better waste collection in the handful of countries that account for most of the plastic flowing into the ocean. Those global companies can be important levers in driving change and shifting to a regenerative, circular economy. So, for example, companies need to not only make products that are recyclable, but actually make them out of recycled or truly biodegradable material. Forty years after the launch of the first universal recycling symbol, only 14 percent of plastic packaging is recycled. Paper straws aren’t recyclable. Your plastic straws are not hurting the environment, but the laws against them are irrevocably hurting our freedom. Plastic straws account for less than 1 percent of the less than 1 percent the United States dumps into the ocean. “The crucial challenge is to ensure that these bans are just a first step, offering a natural place to start with ‘low-hanging fruit’ so long as it’s part of a much more fundamental shift away from single-use plastics across the value chains of these companies and our economy.”. These laws are based on nothing other than virtue signaling, a hope to control consumption in the United States, and a desire to ban more and more things we all use. They store these polymers inside their cells as tiny granules. Last but not least, using reusable straws … The crucial challenge is to ensure that these bans are just a first step. Foolproof. The straws are typically made using polypropylene, a type of plastic made from petroleum. Again, bamboo straws are not bendable like a plastic straw is. In effect, nature has designed this plastic for disassembly. It is good to switch on the best technology and you can make the plastic straws degradable. We go through a staggering 25.3 billion plastic straws in Europe … The production of paper straws is actually more resource-intensive than plastic straws, but plastic straws are more dangerous to the environment if they are littered because they do not biodegrade… (Straws made of compostable paper or plastic are still allowed.) In a Q&A, environmental law Professor Deborah Sivas discusses a recent executive order that empowers federal agencies to override legal requirements for environmental reviews and community feedback related to major infrastructure projects. Switching to reusable straws will lower the amount of pollution in our oceans, and less pollution means less harm to the environment and marine life! We add another 8 million tons each year – that’s about five grocery bags full of plastic waste on every foot of shoreline around the world, according to a recent study. The second, more fundamental imperative is to get plastics out of our waste stream. School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, BY Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Shared Analytical Facilities and Research Resources, Gravity wave insights from internet-beaming balloons, Q&A: How wildfires threaten water quality. Cities across the United States, such as Washington, D.C., Seattle, and the entire state of California, have mandated that businesses no longer provide plastic straws to their customers. Criddle and Leape are also senior fellows at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Communities and consumers can play vital roles in sparking action. Stanford Report spoke with Jim Leape, co-director of the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, and Craig Criddle, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, about the path to reducing ocean plastic pollution. Cavities. Plastic waste, mostly broken down into tiny particles, floats in huge blobs amid ocean current patterns called gyres that together cover as much as 40 percent of Earth’s ocean surface. As it turns out, many microorganisms make moldable bioplastic polymers that are fully degradable. Straws account for a nearly immeasurable amount of refuse in the ocean, yet laws are being changed at the whim of a widely shared conspiracy that they pose a significant risk to the planet despite significant evidence to the contrary. A better understanding of how gravity waves in the upper atmosphere interact with the jet stream, polar vortex and other phenomena could be key to improved weather predictions and climate models. Driven by public pressure, governments and corporations are considering eliminating or phasing out single-use plastics such as straws. Such materials already exist in nature. According to Dr. Burhenne, the only way straw use could potentially protect the teeth is if the tip of the straw is in the back of the mouth and the liquid goes straight to the throat without … Criddle is director of Stanford’s Codiga Resource Recovery Center, a member of Stanford Bio-X and an affiliate of the Precourt Institute for Energy. The small pilot whale, found in a Thai canal this past June, is another symptom of a crisis in the world’s oceans. Why Getting Rid of Plastic Straws Is Becoming Good for Business Companies like Starbucks are staying ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental backlash. Like an undulating seesaw, weather in some regions swings from drought to heavy rain under the weight of climate-induced changes, a new study finds. Plastic straws are believed Just one of the top 10 plastic marine waste from the Sea. Ultimately, we can further decrease costs and achieve economies of scale through decentralized production systems and perhaps also at large biorefineries. While a staggering amount of plastic waste does enter the ocean each year, a study in Science journal revealed that 275 million metric tons was dumped into the ocean worldwide by people living 30 miles or less away from the ocean shore across the globe. One recent survey found plastics in 94 percent of tap water samples in the U.S. and in nearly every brand of bottled water. Straws are convenient because they allow people to slowly sip a beverage. An astounding 500 million straws are used in the U.S. every day, and according to a New Plastics Economy report, oceans are expected to contain more plastic than fish by 2050.Since single-use straws … The crucial challenge is to ensure that these bans are just a first step, offering a natural place to start with “low-hanging fruit” so long as it’s part of a much more fundamental shift away from single-use plastics across the value chains of these companies and our economy. That’s a promising start. And although the FDA has found this to be food-safe, chemicals from the plastic could leach into liquids, releasing … (Photo credit: Shutterstock). In most cases, single-use plastic straws are an altogether unnecessary form of waste. LEAPE: Plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of the problem – less than 1 percent. Let’s look at some of the most blatant facts that debunk the idea that giving up an incredibly convenient, useful, and frankly necessary household item will contribute to any “planet saving” whatsoever. Fortunately, microorganisms can also use cheap, renewable substrates, such as food wastes, biogas methane, carbon dioxide and renewable hydrogen. They cannot ever be properly recycled. Last week, Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris said she would enact a federal ban on plastic drinking straws if she were elected president in 2020, despite also saying paper straws are barely useable. The environmental impact of plastic straws is well documented.. Because plastic has a lifecycle … Leape, an avowed environmentalist, seemed to readily acknowledge the futile act of removing plastic straws from American life. LEAPE: Microplastics pervade the oceans. “The risk is that banning straws may confer ‘moral license,’” said Jim Leape, co-director for the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. The risk is that banning straws may confer “moral license” – allowing companies and their customers to feel they have done their part. Thoughtful laws are needed to control the problem and at the same time encourage innovation. On other issues, from overfishing to deforestation, we have seen that consumer-facing companies – like McDonalds, Unilever and Walmart – can be exquisitely sensitive to the concerns of their customers. Plastic straws make it easy to drink from a cup with a lid, minimizing spills and messes when on the go. August 01, 2018 . Stanford experts discuss the limitations of these bans and the potential for meaningful change. At all, you will be able to save the environment. Of that, the United States contributed less than 1 percent. Interestingly, these granules contain “the seeds of their own destruction”: enzymes that break the polymer down when it is needed for food. “Plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of the problem – less than 1 percent,” said an official involved with the study. Growing public concern has inspired movements to ban single-use plastics, most notably straws. Once tainted with food or drink, a paper product must be routed to landfill. Ellie worked in the wine industry as a journalist and sommelier. No big … Plastic straws are simply not killing the planet, and science just can’t stop proving it. These straws are not harmful. While compostable plastic straws are good in theory, they are only compostable if 1) there is an industrial composting facility in your community (often not the case) AND if 2) we dispose of them correctly (often we do not). It has been projected that, if current trends continue, by 2050 the plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish. In California, a bill to ban straws unless requested at dine-in restaurants is awaiting a signature from the governor. We can also decrease costs through improved bioprocessing methods, through metabolic engineering and by exploring and harnessing the incredible diversity of bioplastic-making systems that evolution has already created. In fact, even climate activists involved in the study struggled to see any noticeable effects of a nationwide straw ban. Note that his goal instead is to increasingly ban more and more products we all use. The United States contributes less than 1 percent of the world’s plastic ocean pollution annually. Drinking sugary or acidic beverages through a straw can increase the likelihood of cavities. It is estimated that there are now 150 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean. Joe Biden has a new slogan: vote for Joe or you’ll burn alive in a raging wildfire. The National Wildlife Refuge System is an often overlooked feature of the American wilderness designation, serving as a black sheep to its older siblings. Leape has long been a leader in ocean conservation efforts. This convenience has made … CRAIG CRIDDLE: In addition to recycling more and reusing materials more, we need new materials that can do the same jobs as current plastics, but are biodegradable, nontoxic and do not concentrate in food chains. The United States contributes less than 1 percent of the world’s plastic ocean pollution annually. “When you’re laser-focused on climate change, that means that you’re not properly focused on good forest management, and that’s what’s been neglected.”. Ellie Bufkin is a breaking news reporter at The Washington Examiner and a senior contributor to The Federalist. Plastics also permeate freshwater systems like rivers and streams. While it may seem like merely a minor inconvenience to drink out of a mushy paper straw or sippy-cup lid, bans on straws have become the trendiest piece of legislation in the United States. It is good to use the paper straw as well for the environment. While it is theoretically recyclable it practically simply isn’t done and so all of those 400 million straws per day end up in the … About Nicholas Kerr September 19, 2018 6:30 AM. As communities act to ban single-use plastics and individual consumers raise concerns, bigger actors pay attention. But, bamboo is a renewable and natural material (unlike plastic), and bamboo straws are generally reusable, and can be composted (as long as they are labelled as such) at the end of their life cycle. Feel-Good Bans on Straws and Plastic Bags Don’t Help the Ocean By Nicholas Kerr. Plastic straws are the ultimate in single-use convenience. CRIDDLE: Cost is a huge issue. Straws are made of polypropylene, also known as plastic number 5. Biodegradable Straws – There are many reasons to use paper straws, from saving the environment to … They’re in about a quarter of the seafood in our markets, and even in table salt. And like all plastics, they will last for centuries, and never fully degrade. Copyright © 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. Latest Stanford Health Alerts on COVID-19, As communities act to ban single-use plastics and individual consumers raise concerns, bigger actors pay attention.

why plastic straws are good

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