Why not plastic?
Plastic straws are made out of a petroleum byproduct called polypropylene. They are mixed with colorants and plasticizes which do not biodegrade naturally in the environment. Some are incinerated, which releases toxic chemicals into the air, but most end up in the ocean or in the ground, where they will hang around for an estimated 400 years and leach out. Each year 100,000 marine animals and over 1 million sea birds die from ingesting plastic.
Every straw ever used still exists on this planet!
With over 8 million tonnes of the stuff entering the oceans every year, it's no secret that plastic certainly is not fantastic. However, some plastic items are worse than others.
Single-use plastic is a particularly nasty form of plastic. These items have a shockingly short lifespan, normally used once and then discarded to landfill. Like other plastics, they never biodegrade and take hundreds of years to break down. Plastic straws are one such single-use item, and are ending up in our oceans by the thousands.
Plastic straws are in the top 10 items picked up on beach clean ups, and it's not hard to see why.