Plastic straws are now banned from the island of Sanibel, an important step in helping to protect our beautiful beaches.
The Sanibel City Council approved the new ordinance last week, which requires businesses to either use paper straws or none at all.
We’re thrilled to finally see this action taking place as plastic straws pose such a threat to our precious wildlife. More than 175 million plastic straws are used each day in the U.S. alone, enough to circle the globe three times.
Scientists have shown that up to 12.7 million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year — that’s a filled-to-the-rim garbage truckload every 60 seconds. If we continue this trend, scientists predict that there will be more plastic than fish in our ocean by the year 2050.
While straws are far from our biggest problem when it comes to marine plastic pollution, environmentalists hope they will be the “gateway plastic,” encouraging people to forgo other plastic products, such as utensils, cups, bottles and bags that typically get thrown away after one use. These single-use plastics have a lifespan of only minutes, but then invade our waterways and become choking hazards for marine life for generations to come.
Ending the tidal wave of plastics begins on land. If you’re interested in learning more, checking out the Ocean Conservancy is a great place to start.
You can also join the trending hashtag, #StopSucking, along with Chelsea Clinton, Tom Brady, and Neil Degrasse Tyson, among others, who have all pledged to “just say no” when handed a plastic straw!