Hold the straw, please.

They are bright, colorful, and even done in themes for parties; but in reality, you suck when using a straw.

How many times has this happened: you go to a restaurant to enjoy a meal with friends or family, the waitstaff asks you what you’d like to drink and before you know it the creation of waste begins!  You’re eco-minded.  You recycle at home and at work.  You might have your own garden to cut down on expenses and create some food security for you and your family.  You pick up your pet waste when on walks to keep the bacteria out of waterways.  You may even carpool to work and have your own plate and serving ware at the office for the company luncheon.  But right now, that ubiquitous little tube of plastic — serving one, brief role in this world to quench your thirst faster than the two lips nature gave you can do the job — is staring back from your glass, tempting you to drink deep, never realizing how close its demise looms once its mission has been accomplished.

© Roy Lichtenstein, 1963

Crying Girl © Roy Lichtenstein, 1963

But they make drinking so easy!  However did we make it this far through history drinking any other way?!

Bad news: the plastic straw has become a colossal problem.  Seriously.  According to a report from The Last Plastic Straw, every day, the equivalent of 125 school buses are filled with trashed straws in the U.S.  That’s enough straws to wrap around the planet 2.5 times each day!  Straws are the number 5 item on the list of top-10 items collected from the ocean.

To curb straw usage, Barcardi, yeah, the liquor folks, have started an in-house initiative called the “no-straw” movement as part of the company’s “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” environmental campaign to remove straws and stirrers in cocktails at company events.  Geez, as if we needed another reason to want to work for a distillery!  They drink at work?!  Er, uhm, we mean, they are cutting out waste at company events?!  Hooray!

Bottom line: 500 million straws are used and discarded daily in the United States.  This is not sustainable.  Learn more at the links above, stop sucking, and, next time you are out with friends, tell the waitstaff to “hold the straw, please!”

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