We have a plastic straw addiction that needs to change

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The discussion of plastics, whether to ban or continue production, is still one of relevance. First the plastic bag wave occurred, taking away what some found a convenience, and what others found a deathstrumental object to the environment. Now, the debate on straws goes on.

The plastic straw and other plastic amenities have been seen littered and causing deathly disturbances to marine life as well as other animals who consume it without knowledge of what it is.

It is believed that America alone uses around 500 million straws everyday and that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

California and Hawaii are of some of the states that have applied a restriction on the usage of plastic straws, giving paper ones instead, or none at all. Starbucks is one of the companies that I believed to have stopped straw usage, but I was wrong.

Inside Suffolk’s many “proudly serving” Starbucks, two different sized straws can be found and as someone who enjoys an iced coffee to go, I was confused.

I’ll be honest, I think more about my environmental impact than most do. I carry around a reusable bag as well as try to limit my plastic water bottles by using a reusable one.

I acknowledge that, yes, convenience is helpful, but is that maybe the root of the problem? Is it harder for society to adapt to a change that may be for the better, whether it be small or large?

Paper straws are not nearly as “sturdy” and often deteriorate as I drink, but I had no problem with it when I knew if they really disturbed me, I could invest in a metal straw and save later.

One of the large controversies about the straw ban is the fact that people with disabilities need straws to drink and this limits them even more. According to ABC, people with disabilities justify plastic straws as “an essential, cost-effective and effectively necessary tool to help them sustain their livelihoods,” which is also an important point.

We have created such objects for use, and although many might deem straws irrelevant to the actual act of drinking, there are people who may have become reliant on them.

Although some people do need straws and are reliant on them to drink, the production of plastic straws has gone from usage to an over consumption.

If I were to use three plastic straws a day, everyday, for a whole year, I would use 1,095 straws. By buying one metal straw or a reusable form of straw, I would be eliminating 1,095 potential straws misplaced into the ocean.

Our trash has to go somewhere and often times due to human error, it ends up in the environment we cannot live in: the ocean.

My own personal goal is to seek a life where my actions that can be changed to better the world are changed and I think the plastic straw debate is one where I can go without and still feel fulfilled.

The goal of others may just be to educate about the situation because when you know what the overall effect is, maybe then the patterns will shift.

Using one less straw a day may seem pointless and as if it will not make any dent in the world, but when life becomes about only making the biggest dent in the world we come full circle.

Justifying our actions by saying none of it matters further explains the situation our planet and humanity is in.

The straw debate may be about using less plastic so that our oceans can still have fish in them, but the heart of the debate really rests on human morality: We have to make it a law to get people to do something as small as not using a straw.

The smallest things really do matter when you allow yourself and your world to be impacted by you and your daily actions.

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