A BREIF HISTORY OF STRAWS
The first straw was invented by Marvin Stone in the 1880's and was made out of paper. To improve durability, Stone used paraffin-coated manila paper - patenting this design in 1888. Then 40 years later, Joseph B. Friedman patented the "bendy straw" in 1937 to help his daughter sip a milkshake. But the straws created back then had a problem. They weren’t as durable as plastic, and they eventually disintegrated in the beverages. By the 1960s, plastic straws, which initially carried a sense of novelty for the public, had usurped paper straws entirely.
SINGLE USE ITEMS ~ CONVENIENCE AT WHAT COST ?
Now, nearly every restaurant or bar server automatically places a straw in even the simplest glass of iced water. Made from petrochemical-based plastic, disposable straws never break down. They cannot be recycled. And used for no more than 20-minutes at a time, straws are tossed in the trash - ending up in landfills and making their way into waterways, nearby beaches and the ocean.
In the United States alone we use and throw away a staggering 500 MILLION single-use straws PER DAY.
Although the plastic drinking straw may not be the top contributor to the eight million tons of plastic trash which now flows every year into the world’s oceans ~ straws are wasteful, harmful to marine life and birds, and simply unnecessary.
TAKE THE PLEDGE + TAKE ACTION
We are not toddlers needing a straw to learn to transition from the breast or baby bottle to drinking from a glass. We are capable grown humans! Let us take the pledge today to once and for all refuse straws wherever we go. If you must use a straw, consider buying and carrying a reusable glass, metal or compostable paper ones (pictured) for your home or business.
Talk to businesses and share them your request to stop serving straws automatically. We can take it a step further. According to National Geographic, the country of France not only banned plastic bags, it has become the first country to also ban plastic plates, cups, and utensils, beginning in 2020. Let us do the same in our local Cities and Countries. Gather friends and your community and attend City Council meetings at your local City to help implement a City-wide ban on plastic straws. Together, we have the power to reverse old "habits of convenience" and help preserve clean beaches, oceans and marine life that depend on these habitats for their survival.