Diana Lofflin, the founder of StrawFree.org wants the beach town to consider giving up plastic straws in order to help save marine animals.
Lofflin told Jo Kwon that straws are not something we necessarily "need in every single drink." Lofflin's goal is to help Huntington Beach become the first city in the state to ban plastic straws. She says "bans have a very scary connotation but they all start local."
Lofflin said in a press release put out by the Pollination Progect, a non-profit that gives money to individual change-makers, “What most people don’t realize is that plastic lasts forever."
The OC Weekly reported that Lofflin is described as "a member of the surfer community who had her mellow harshed at a beach cleanup, where a bunch of stray straws were strewn about in the sand."
While straws have been around a long time, plastic straws were not developed until the 1960’s. Most plastic straws are not biodegradable and are not recyclable so they end up sitting in landfills and littering the beaches and oceans. Litter collects into these floating garbage patches filled with plastic. One patch called the North Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas with about 3.5 million tons of trash.
All this trash not only affects our ecosystems, it also puts our wildlife in danger as well. Seabirds and marine mammals like dolphins and whales accidently ingest the plastic straws putting their lives in danger.
Think about your daily life and how often you use plastic straws. Do you have a supply at home or only use them when you go out to restaurants? Do your kids take juice boxes to school every day? You might be surprised how quickly it adds up.
StrawFree.org says everyday more than 500 million straws are thrown away in the US alone.
Actions You Can Take
Step 1: Make a personal commitment to say “no” to plastic straws. Whenever ordering a drink, politely request “no straw, please.”
Step 2: Reach out to some local eateries in your neighborhood or town and ask them to change their protocol to only serve straws upon request.
Step 3: Encourage those eateries to make a change to non-plastic straw options – like paper or bamboo straws.