Ms. Iman Haroon, Green Blogger, Environmental Science, GCWUS
Turtles consuming plastic straws; Resulting in death.
Imagine not getting a straw with your drink at a restaurant, how frustrating right? Now imagine getting a straw so badly stuck in your nostrils that it impairs you from breathing properly. How does it feel? Even more frustrating. Yes, this is exactly what happens to turtles in the ocean. Turtles being an innocent species are unable to differ between their food and plastic straws.
This is an image of a turtle found on the coast of Costa Rica with a plastic straw stuck up its nostril which was taken out with the help of pliers.
Now the question arises "How do straws make it into the ocean?" The answer is simple. Plastic straws are being thrown away carelessly on the sidewalks and streets, blown out of trash cans and vehicles, are left on the beach, etc. And then by the help of wind or storms, these straws are carried into the waterways and eventually into the ocean. After ending up in the ocean, plastic straws harm or kill turtles.
Plastic Straws are the leading contributors to ocean pollution and are not biodegradable. They can take up to 200 years to decompose. Because of their small size, it's difficult for them to get recycled. As soon as it is ingested by an organism (like turtles), it disturbs the digestive system resulting in blockage of the digestive tract.
Take Action: Use Reusable Straws
The simplest and most efficient way to combat this problem is to use environment-friendly products like paper straws. For a few people, this might be difficult, shifting directly from plastic to paper. Well, paper straw isn't the only option. Stainless Steel Straws is another replacement for plastic straws. These can be cleaned easily and can be used over and over again without having to throw them away. These straws are durable and come with a cleaning brush so you can clean it without any difficulty.
Next time you go to a restaurant and order a drink make sure you don't ask for a straw and use your stainless steel straw instead. This way we use less plastic resulting in less pollution and a better environment for animals and humans.
Alaska Airlines is one such airline that is saying no to plastic straws. They are not only replacing plastic straws but also toothpicks and stirrers to more marine-friendly products. Now, what do you think? Shouldn't our Airline promote such activities? Isn't this our duty to save nature which is only going to benefit us in the future? Let’s say No to plastic straws and save the sea turtles. Respect our oceans and those who call it home.
Iman Haroon
Department of Environmental Sciences, GCWUS
The Earth Needs Love!