Join the Sonoma County Zero Waste Symposium in eradicating BILLIONS of straws discarded annually.
Straws and single-use plastics may be used for a minutes but last for a lifetime. Do we really need straws for drinking? Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. While using one straw doesn’t seem like a big problem, these non-recyclable, single-use straws pose a threat to the health of our planet when adding up the billions of people sucking up beverages daily.
TAKE PERSONAL ACTION TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION
- Make a personal commitment to say “no” to plastic straws. Whenever ordering a drink, request “no straw, please.” Encourage your friends and family to take the pledge, too!
- Ask Sonoma County restaurants to provide straws upon request. Simply print out the below cards and leave them with your receipt or give them to the restaurant manager.
Sip It Sonoma Card
Sonoma County restaurants can change if they hear from enough customers just like they changed protocol when providing water upon request due to the drought.
“Plastic is a substance the Earth cannot digest… Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists today.”
– Plastic Pollution Coalition
The Skinny on Plastic
Plastic never goes away. Plastic is a durable material made to last forever, yet illogically, 33 percent of it is used once and then thrown away. Plastic cannot biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.
Plastic spoils our groundwater. There are thousands of landfills in North America. Buried beneath each one of them, plastic leachate full of toxic chemicals is seeping into groundwater and flowing downstream into lakes and rivers.
Plastic attracts other pollutants. Manufacturers’ additives in plastics, like flame retardants, BPAs and PVCs, can leach their own toxicants. These oily poisons repel water and stick to petroleum-based objects like plastic debris.
Plastic threatens wildlife. Entanglement, ingestion and habitat disruption all result from plastic ending up in the spaces where animals live. In our oceans alone, plastic debris outweighs zooplankton by a ratio of 36-to-1.
Plastic piles up into the environment. North Americans discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year. Only 8 percent of that gets recycled. The rest ends up in landfills, is incinerated, or becomes the invasive species known as ‘litter.’
Plastic poisons our food chain. Even plankton, the tiniest creatures in our oceans, are eating microplastics and absorbing their toxins. The substance displaces nutritive algae that creatures up the food chain require.
Plastic affects human health. Chemicals leached by plastics are in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.
Plastics cost billions to abate. Everything suffers: tourism, recreation, business, the health of humans, animals, fish & birds – because of plastic pollution. The financial damage continuously being inflicted is inestimable
(Source: Plastic Pollution Coalition, www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org)