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.