♲ How long does it take plastic straws to degrade? Approximately 200 years. The waste adds up quickly if you frequently go out for coffee and do not use a reusable container and/or straw. Imagine going out for coffee 3 times a week, multiply that by 52 weeks in a year. That’s 156 straws or cups being thrown into the landfills annually by one consumer. Now think about that in terms of of many takeout containers and other one time use items you may use on a regular basis. Make the switch to reusable cups and straws to reduce your ecological footprint with your health in mind!
Health Effects of Single Use Plastic
❋ Decay of enamel and teeth can be accelerated as the straw projects a concentrated stream of (usually) sugary liquid to target a few teeth or a small region in the mouth.
❋ Consistent plastic usage can lead to overstimulation through the mimicking of naturally occurring hormones such as estrogen (female), androgens (male), and thyroid hormones. This excess causes hormone levels to rise, ultimately disrupting normal functions in the body and acts as an endocrine disruptor.
Impacts on the Environment
❋ The creation and dispersal of microplastics: plastics that have been broken down into small bits are easily ingested by marine life which are eventually ingested by other animals and humans as the microplastic pieces progress through food chains.
❋ When plastic is improperly disposed of (which is often), it can be ingested by marine animals. For a sea turtle, plastic bags and balloons looks nearly identical to jellyfishes cause great harm and even death to them. Plastic debris in oceans causes the death of 100 million marine animals annually. Since we’re based out of Cape Cod, this is a huge concern due to the plentiful beaches and fragile habitats that are being polluted and littered.
How Can YOU Make a Positive Difference?
♲ Whenever you go out ask for NO plastic straw in your drink right away, it will become a habit!
♲ If you choose to use a straw, use a paper straw or have a metal/reusable straw handy to avoid plastic ones whenever you’re on the go!