Get ready to skip the straw and help the ocean! On July 1, the City of Seattle’s ban on single-use plastic straws and utensils will go into effect. The measure banning these items was originally passed in 2008, but exemptions were made each year because viable alternatives weren’t widely available.
Now that paper/compostable straws and utensils have entered the mainstream, the City is moving forward with the ban—and when it does, it will be the largest metropolitan city to do so to date. Go Seattle!
This ban is great news for the ocean and the animals that live there. Plastic packaging makes up 26% of the volume of all plastic produced around the world, and it’s almost exclusively single-use. Plenty of those plastics end up in the ocean, where they can cause great harm to marine animals. Even worse, plastics in the ocean never truly break down and disappear; they just keep getting smaller and smaller, eventually becoming tiny enough to be called “microplastics” (and to be ingested by animals that are in turn ingested by humans—read our previous post about microplastics in shellfish here).
Plastic pollution is clearly a problem for our ocean, and one that continues to grow: the equivalent to a garbage-truck-full of plastic is deposited into the ocean every minute of every day. What’s also clear is that single-use plastics are everywhere, not to mention incredibly convenient.
Thanks for joining us in working to reduce ocean plastics!