Plastic straws and stir sticks are much more harmful to the environment than you think. There are many alarming statistics surrounding straw usage, such as the fact that Americans alone consume enough straws to wrap around the world 2.5 times every single day. Many types of straws are made of polypropylene and contain BPA, which leaks harmful toxins such as synthetic estrogen into what you’re drinking. Straws also rank in the top 10 for marine debris and take over 200 years to break down into non-biodegradable micro-plastics. On top of it all, thousands of seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles die every year due to plastic pollution.
Those involved with Vanier sustainability and the Green Team have initiated a movement to ban plastic straws and stir sticks from being given on campus. There is a petition students and staff can sign located in B-205, please feel free to sign it and support the ban on these materials from Vanier. Movements like these to lessen the harm we cause to the environment have already led to the ban of water bottles and junk foods on campus, so this is the next step to a more eco-friendly campus.
If you would like more information about the petition or about the Vanier Green Team, contact Marya Grant via Mio, or visit B-205. To become involved with Vanier sustainability, and be a part of projects like this, Mio Myriam Mansoor, and check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/VanierCollegeSustainability/ and their website: http://www.vaniercollege.qc.ca/sustainability-major/.
Not using plastic straws and stir sticks seems like it won’t have much of an effect on anything, but it is all of the small consistent changes like this that each of us can make that have the largest impact on the environment.