STRAWS AND PLASTIC POLLUTION IN THE OCEAN

Every week in the United States we use several hundred million plastic straws and then after a just few minutes of use we throw them away.  Where do these straws go? Many of them go into landfills and some of them make their way into our environment, polluting waterways, forests, marshes, beaches and eventually our oceans. 

Scientists estimate that the amount of plastic garbage in the ocean will double by 2025 if we keep using and throwing it away at our current rate. Plastic does not biodegrade — at least not for many hundreds of or perhaps even a thousand years. That means that the plastic straw you used yesterday will likely be around fifty generations from now, though it will have broken down into tiny, but still harmful, bits.

Plastic straws and stirrers are consistently among the top ten items found in coastal cleanups. An estimated 90% of seabirds and 50% of sea turtles have plastic in their guts — that means they are eating plastic instead of food. It also means there is a LOT of plastic in the ocean. Plastics are routinely found in many other marine animals, including whales and dolphins, fish of all types, and even tiny plankton.  

The effects of the toxic chemicals contained in many plastics that leach out into ocean water and into the organisms that consume them are unknown but are a cause for worry.

Straws and other plastic garbage pose serious hazards to animals, who can choke on them, consume them instead of food, and become entangled in them.


Community Beach Clean-Ups

p1070106Join the Skip the Straw students to keep Falmouth’s beloved beaches clean and keep plastics out of our waterways! 

Learn more about our ongoing Community Beach Clean-Ups here!


OUR CAMPAIGN

IMG_3171A group of concerned Falmouth sixth graders, in cooperation with Falmouth Water Stewards, has launched a campaign to educate people about the problem of plastics pollution on beaches and in the ocean and a really easy way they can help prevent it  — skipping the straw.


WHAT YOU CAN DO

STSLOGOThe next time you’re at a restaurant or cafe and order a drink, even water, tell your server you want to skip the straw and drink directly from the cup.

And then, if there’s time, tell him or her why you want to skip the straw — to make less trash and keep our waters and our beaches clean and our landfills free of extra garbage.


And it’s not only straws that matter. Plastic cups, bottles, bags, lids, balloons and stirrers all are used for a very short time and then thrown away — and quickly become trash that goes either to a landfill or makes its way to beaches, estuaries, and the ocean, where it can harm or kill marine life and pollute the waters and landscapes we all depend on. Each of us can make a difference by choosing to consume less plastic, especially one-time-use plastic. Join us in pledging to skip the straw — and carry this commitment to the next level and reduce your use of other one-time-use plastics.

Contact us if you’d like to find out more about our campaign or get involved!