Plastic straws have sparked much controversy in recent months because of the amount of waste that they are bring into the environment especially the ocean. Many brands and even some cities have decided to ban plastic straws: Seattle is currently the largest city that has banned plastic straws and companies like Starbucks “pledged to phase out the use of plastic straws”.
While the plastic straw pollunts earth’s environment, plastic straw companies provide jobs that keep the unemployment rate down said CNN. Furthermore, according to CNN, plastic straws cost 5 to 6 times less than paper straws and are considered more hygienic because they are disposable.
The paper straws however are less durable, and get soggy, are biodegradable said Ocean Conservancy. Yet, plastic straws continue to be more widely used than paper straws.
Environmentalists debate whether plastic straws are the most important thing to focus on. Plastic straws only account for 0.025% of the plastic that is ending up in our oceans. Contrarily, 8 million tons of plastic flows into the ocean every day. The plastic straw production forces companies to do more oil and gas extraction and use more electricity to power the plastic plant production. Environmentalists are putting their focus on plastic straws because, for most people, they are a unnecessary luxury that could be done without. The discussion around plastic straws continues to be an important one as politicians and scientists analyze the pros and cons of their usage.