We have all seen the videos of turtles with straws stuck in their noses, and it is heart breaking. But this is not just a problem for our marine friends; it is a problem for all of us. When we use straws, it has a direct effect on our climate.
Straws are made from plastic, and plastic does not biodegrade. That means that every single straw that is ever used will still be here on Earth. While we can recycle some of it, much of it ends up in our oceans, rivers, and lakes. This plastic pollutes the environment and can have a severe impact on our climate.
We can all do our part to reduce the amount of plastic pollution and help slow down climate change. One of the simplest ways to do this is to stop using straws. There are lots of alternatives to plastic straws, including reusable metal, glass, and bamboo straws. You can also use a reusable cup instead of a disposable cup with a plastic lid and straw.
One of our major excuse as Tanzanian for using plastic straws is the claim of shared or reusable glasses in restaurants are unhygienic. Let’s unpack this notion. How do you drink your hot drinks like tea or coffee in restaurants? Do you use a straw? I am guessing the answer is no. So, why are we comfortable drinking tea in a shared cup in a restaurant but not juice directly from a glass?
It can be hard to break the habit of using straws, but it is important to remember that every straw you refuse is one less straw that will end up in our environment. If everyone does their part, we can make a big difference.
We can also work to reduce the amount of plastic that is produced in the first place. Companies should be developing more sustainable packaging options and using recycled materials whenever possible. We can also reduce our overall consumption of plastic products.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and it is up to all of us to do what we can to reduce our impact. Taking small steps such as refusing plastic straws can make a big difference. We may not be able to solve the problem on our own, but we can all do our part to help. So the next time you are offered a straw, ask yourself – do I really need this?
Be awesome this year and say hapana mrija!