Excessive use of single-use plastics, including plastic straws, are a danger to our environment and our health. In this year of Climate Action in Singapore, we think it’s important to raise awareness of the impact on the world around us and take action to make a change.
Here we review the four reasons why we say no to plastic straws.
1. INCREASES CARBON EMISSIONS
Carbon emissions are produced from the extraction of fossil fuels and the energy-intensive process used to turn them into plastics. Carbon Dioxide and equivalent gases lead to global warming melting the polar ice caps, flooding low-lying parts of the world, and damaging fragile ecosystems like coral reefs. Although an individual straw has a pretty small footprint, given we probably use more than a billion worldwide each day, it has an impact. By 2050, plastic could account for 15% of global carbon emissions - a higher contributor than the aviation sector.
2. USES UP LANDFILL SPACE
Small, lightweight plastics are hard to recycle (Only 14% are collected for recycling worldwide). They end up in landfill (or the ocean - see below) where they take up precious space, and can leach toxic chemicals into the soil as they slowly break up.
3. POLLUTES OUR OCEANS
Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean – equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. There, they injure and kill marine life and litter our beaches. This video is compulsory viewing for all plastic-straw users.[Warning: Tissues at hand].