Around 500 million plastic straws are being used every day around the world. Every single day! And where do all these plastic straws end up? Sadly, the majority end up in our oceans.
While it might seem like a harmless disposable, when straws end up in landfills, they easily get blown away and end up in the oceans (along with 8.8 million tons of plastic, annually).
Once they reach the oceans, straws (along with other plastic waste) have grave effects on the ocean life and its ecosystem. Currently, around 700 marine species are being threatened with extinction due to the amount of plastic waste in the form of ingestion, entanglement, and pollution.
Plastic being a non-biodegradable material, made of petroleum compounds, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces over time which will eventually lead to endless microplastic pollution.
Some scientists have found that sea life that eats any of those plastic particles has a higher chance of death in their juvenile years. Further, the fish who survive adolescence will eventually travel all the way up the food chain to humans. The reality is, plastic is putting in danger the natural balance and life cycle of sealing and if marine ecosystems collapse the consequences for the planet as a whole will be severe, something that experts fear could occur by 2048.
Here at The Athenian, we are aiming to have the smallest impact on the environment that we can. This is why we have stopped stocking straws and our takeaway packaging is biodegradable, which means that it decomposes shortly after disposal.