A viral video in 2015 captured the attention of the world. A sea turtle could be seen struggling in pain as a piece of a plastic straw was extracted out of its nostril. This shocked the world into realizing that perhaps the harms of pollution had taken another step further. People were even more horrified when recently a whale washed up to the coast of Spain ad was found to have more than 60 pounds of trash inside of it.
This raised the hashtag on social media #stopsucking which made celebrities such as Chelsea Clinton, Tom Brady, Sonam Kapoor and Tom Felton pledged to refuse a straw whenever they were offered one.
Now the city of New York is trying to pass a bill. If they succeed, plastic straws will be banned. Previously, Seattle, Portland, and Miami have already been successful in introducing this policy.
If New York is successful in this motive no food business will be able to use plastic straws and if they are found to be doing so, they will be fined for $1000.
The reason why governments are so focused on banning plastic stars is because it is a serious harm to our oceans marine life. This is because unlike other forms of plastic, recycling straws isn’t possible because of their weight and size. This fact becomes even more alarming when looking at statistics that millions of straws are used and discarded per day. Even though the bill hasn’t been passed yet, many restaurants and bars have realized the harmful effects of straws and have ditched the plastic tubes anyhow.
Starbucks the corporate coffee giant, agrees with the matter and says that the company will stop distributing straws internationally altogether by the year 2020. However, there are some people with certain disabilities who require straws. For them the exception will be made and they will be given a paper straw upon asking for one.
Starbucks recently released a statement saying “not using straws is the best thing we can do for the environment”
Everyday our environment depreciates. Every day the world’s oceans are polluted more and more, almost now to the point where it is now impossible to reverse the damage that has been done. It is necessary that we all work towards bettering our environment as much as we can, even if it means taking small steps such as banning plastic straws as these sorts of measures will eventually make a difference over time.
In Pakistan, this policy has not been applied yet. However, in the meantime we can take our own actions.
At the grocery store try to use reusable bags.
Refuse a straw yourself at the coffee shops.
Pick up trash along the sides of the streets
Regularly use trash cans.
Educate other around you about the effects of pollution.
By Aimen Rehman
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