Sip. Sup. Slurp. Gulp.
From time imaginable, we have been doing the above actions with our mouth to drink fluids. But one single invention made it redundant to do all of these with our lips touching the rim of glasses. The humble drinking straw patented in 1888 continues to be a not so valued yet important item on every restaurant table. This piece of rather innocent item however, comes with cylindrical dangers invisible to us. #StopSucking, a movement to make people aware of the dangers of drinking straws, is literally telling us to stop sucking and be responsible for how we sip our iced teas.
The movement stems from the fact that a drinking straw is one of the easiest items we can get rid of from our daily lifestyle. But lack of awareness regarding the dangers of its use is making Americans alone use 500 million straws every day. The result being sea turtles, dolphins, whales and other sea animals are now compelled to swim with our colourful plastic pipettes with some of them even being lodged in their nostrils or air holes.
Straws are often confused by marine life for food due to its shape. Sea turtles in particular eat floating food making straws easy items. Researchers found straws to be the second highest plastic item found in turtles followed by plastic bags. Remember your last Frooti box, well its tiny straw does not spare birds as well for they often ingest them while picking off garbage juice box straws.While some restaurants are mending ways by not voluntarily adding straws to drinks unless asked for, others are making their customers take a few more steps to reach a straw. The efforts however, remain miniscule for people themselves are not aware of the cons. But a little celeb power might push the effort. The Lonely Whale Foundation compiled a video of stars sucking with straws being hit by an octopus arm. The Brooklyn Decker, Adrian Grenier, The Skins starrer video was done with the pledge to go straw less.
We as a race will be wholly responsible for plastic in the ocean outweighing fishes. It is only our clumsiness and laziness that makes us not take sips with our mouths. While the environmentally conscious make efforts to carry reusable bags for grocery shopping, a little effort to cut down on the use of straw will go a long way in making our lives less plastic dependent so, #StopSucking before the last straw is drawn.