Straw vote: We can all help to recycle

It’s finally summer. You and your family are headed to the beach for vacation — a week of fun in the sun.

Once you finally arrive and go to the beach, you realize something is caught in your flip flop. It’s a plastic straw from another family who left it there. You kick it out of your flip flop and begin to wonder: What will happen to the straw now?

Plastic straws are very useful, but not to every being on Earth. Plastic straws are not biodegradable, meaning they will not decompose after use. They are not recyclable either due to their size.

Since straws are small, they are not typically recycled because they get stuck inside the machine. On average, 14,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean daily.

Due to this immense number, much of the ocean’s wildlife is suffering. Fish are now dying from plastic ingestion, and turtles are getting straws stuck in their noses. Many creatures mistake the plastics for food, which may be costing them their lives.

However, we can help to make the ocean safe again.

We could start by transitioning to using metal, bamboo or silicone reusable straws. We can start to say “No, thank you” to a straw while at a restaurant. Restaurants could transition to paper straws, which are biodegradable.

Also, as a society, we can help to recycle them. In order to recycle the straws, we would have to place them into a bigger polypropylene or type 5 plastic container.

Plastic straws are causing a decline in tourist attractions such as animal aquariums.

Aquariums are declining because the fish and other aquatic life are becoming extinct, and the plastic straws are causing that disruption in our ecosystems.

Continuing this trend could result in the loss of some of our favorite foods to eat, like salmon, tuna and sushi.

Do not shake the straw free from your flip flop and keep going.

Make an effort to recycle it and preserve the future of our oceans.

Makayla L. Klock

Portage

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