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Week 15: #Waves4Change 2020 Sustainability Challenge – Skip the straw, bring your own reusable!

Why Take This Challenge?

Single use plastics continue to pose a threat to our environment, especially our wildlife, beaches, oceans and lakes. Plastic’s inability to biodegrade causes piles of trash to accumulate in our bodies of water, which eventually wash up on our shores. We can start small against the battle versus plastic – that’s where straws come in. Did you know that plastic straws are one of the most common items picked up during beach clean ups? Straws account for almost 4% of total plastic pollution, an estimation of over 7 million a year.

We recently have seen a movement across major cities to limit or completely remove the use of plastic straws. These ordinances are taking the first step in limiting the use of plastics entering our ecosystems and environments. The overarching goal is to slowly change our habits. If we don’t live in one of these cities – what can we do? That’s where reusable straws come in!

Did you know the drinking straws make up a $3 billion market? Out of this $3 billion, plastic straws account for 99%. This means two things: 1) our reusable straws (glass and metal) and paper straws have made some progress, but 2) we have a long way to go.

How Does This Challenge Benefit Me?

Using a reusable straw means you are taking a step in cleaning up our environment. Although our battle with plastic is far from over, together we can reduce the 500 million straws Americans use every day. By ordering a reusable straw, you are taking a step to reduce single use plastics and the impact on our environment.

So, where do you get one? If your local boutique or shops don’t carry them, explore some of the innovative companies below or check out Amazon.

What if I Already Do This?

Buying a reusable straw is more than being chic! We challenge you to keep it in your purse, bag or somewhere handy at home. We have good intentions when challenging one another to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, now we need to act! Share your commitment with friends and family through social media using #Waves4Change.

Prep This Weekend for a More Sustainable Week

Right now we are supporting our local eateries through take-out. As we face a slow reopening of our country, patio and in-house dining will also start attracting more patrons. If you don’t have a reusable straw yet, start requesting “no straw” when ordering out or grabbing take out. Challenge your local spots to find alternatives or ask them to think about only supplying straws when requested. Together we can reduce the number of straws used per day, directly reducing the amount of plastic polluting our earth.