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A small straw's big environmental impact

Takeaway straws summer2018

The last time you ordered a drink at a restaurant, did it come with a plastic straw? According to the Trash Free Seas Alliance, the average American uses 1.6 straws a day. In the US alone, that’s enough to circle the equator two and a half times.

Single-use plastic items such as straws—as well as stirrers, bags, and cups—are convenient, but convenience can come at an environmental cost if they aren’t disposed of properly or recycled. Many marine animals mistake these and other plastic items for food. Plastic has been found in an estimated 90% of all seabirds and in all sea turtle species. Within the next decade there could be a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the ocean.

Recycling and proper waste disposal help reduce the plastic trash that ends up in our landfills and seas, but there is another action you can take. By refusing a straw, you can help prevent plastic pollution. You can also ask your local restaurants to provide straws only upon request, or to change to paper or other non-plastic options.

Imagine the impact if we all gave up the habit of single-use plastics. So say no to the straw, and help change the future for our oceans.

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World Wildlife magazine provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the connections between animals, people and our planet. Published quarterly by WWF, the magazine helps make you a part of our efforts to solve some of the most pressing issues facing the natural world.

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