Skip the Straw

Here’s how to CARE FOR THE CAPE & ISLANDS

Every single day thousands of pounds of plastic end up in the ocean. The most common items found during beach clean ups are single use plastics like straws, but include other items such as beverage bottles, stirrers and food wrappers. Items such as these create litter, kill our marine life and enter our food supply when consumed by the fish we eat.

Did you know… Americans use 500 million drinking straws every single day? Although an astonishing number, we have the opportunity to reduce the usage of straws, and greatly reduce the amount of our single plastic use. The economy of Cape Cod and the Islands is reliant upon our natural environment, pristine beaches and clean ocean. We are asking for your help to CARE For The Cape & Islands and Skip the Straw.

Watch this video to learn more.

1) IF you wish to use straws, commit to using only reusable or naturally composting (paper) straws.

2) When dining out, kindly tell your server “No Straw, Please” before it is placed in your glass.

3) Educate your staff and customers of the need to protect our environment from plastic straws.

4) Share your plastic straw-free success with your friends, family, peers and other business owners.

5) Take our PLEDGE to become a Responsible Business Partner or CARE Ambassador to get some rewarding benefits and join others listed below.

For more information contact: info@careforthecapeandislands.org

Individuals
Frequently Asked Questions

WHY PLASTIC STRAWS?

We already know that plastic bags and soda can rings are bad for the environment and end up in the ocean. Few people realize that straws are among the top ten items found during beach clean ups and can do so much harm to seabirds, turtles and other marine creatures.

As an item of convenience for the vast majority of us, we believe refusing the single-use plastic straw is the easiest and simplest way for everyone to take action today to address plastic pollution. If we all take the pledge to refuse single-use plastic straws we will see a significant decrease in the number of straws found in our environment. Hopefully, it will pave the way to reducing other contributions to plastic pollution.

WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE TO USING PLASTIC STRAWS?

Some people like using a straw and some people need to use one. There are many options to choose from including reusable stainless steel straws (CARE has these for sale), glass straws, reusable plastic straws, and even bamboo straws.

WHAT ABOUT COMPOSTABLE STRAWS?

Unfortunately it is true that some products that are sold as “biodegradable,” including straws, do not actually compost. Compostable plastic straws are no better than regular plastic straws when they get into the marine environment. They are designed to break down in compost facility conditions, not  in seawater. That is why we support the switch to paper straws, not compostable plastic straws.

HOW DO PLASTIC STRAWS GET INTO THE OCEAN?

Plastic straws end up in the ocean primarily through human error, often 1) left on beaches in coastal communities and seaside resorts globally 2) littered OR 3) blown out of trash cans (oftentimes overfilled), off tables at outdoor restaurants, or transport boats and vehicles.

If littered on the streets they end up in gutters and storm drains that lead to our ocean!

WHAT HAPPENS ONCE THEY’RE IN THE WATER?

An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50% mortality rate. What would our oceans be without marine life?

(source: Communication with Chris Wilcox, CSIRO, primary and contributing author to both studies cited)

What’s equally as bad, perhaps even worse is that when plastic does make it into the ocean it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces known as “microplastics” rather than biodegrading or dissolving, which poses great threats to marine life including fish.

  • The information above has been compiled from a variety of sources including Eco-cycle, Ocean Conservancy, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Strawless Ocean and 5 Gyres.