Since China’s recent ban on American recyclables, even more plastics are ending up in landfills, incinerators, and places where they don’t belong—like the ocean. This is a really big problem. Places in the U.S. are dropping their recycling programs altogether. Australia now has a 1.3 million ton stockpile of recycling it used to just ship off to China. In England, more than 500,000 tons of plastics and other trash were secretly burned last year, leading to serious concerns about air pollution. (Read more in this great article.)
So what do we do? The most important thing is to prevent plastics from entering the market in the first place. (Read some of our tips here.) And reducing plastic straws is a great place to start—Americans use about 500 million every single day! Other major contributors to our global garbage pile are plastic bags, plastic bottles, and plastic packing materials.
Yup, we’ve got a long way to go. But we believe if we can start changing habits with straws, we can change other everyday decisions, too. Hey, we have to start somewhere.
Thank you for your section about the current status of plastic bottle recycling. As a responsible adult, I feel I should have known the status of China no longer accepting plastic to use in their products. We have faithfully saved our plastic bottles (glass and cans) for many years. Needless to say, that practice will be ended soon.
Linda Smith on
I am so happy to hear that people are starting to understand that recycling as good as it sounds is not working. We need people to understand that we have to stop buying these plastic items in order to really help improve our world. I myself have bought a straw from your company and I am spreading the word. I am starting at the company I work for. Thanks for getting the awareness out there!
Carol Martin on
That is crazy! Yet one thing that is kind of sad, is how many “made in china” products are mainly plastic! Starbucks and other small companies have gotten word of this issue and changed some things in their business, yet I hope to see bubble tea shops make a change as well. I know there are SO many concerns yet bubble tea is the thing that makes me “cringe” the most. The thick plastic cups, plastic lid, big plastic boba straws, etc. There are discounts for bringing your own cups and such, but that’d be nice to see them push for it more, or find a more sustainable option. /// back to the article: yes I have learned that to memorize something, or make something into an habit, you should at least do it 5-7 times (i think)… so people should work towards that, and grow from there <3