Plastic straws are almost always used only once before being disposed of. Further, they really are non-essential (we can drink soda without right?). Plastic straws are single-use, lightweight, and made from Polypropylene, a material that isn’t easily recycled and degrades slowly. As a result, the negative environmental impact of plastic straws is disproportionate compared to volume.
Human beings have had a long history with Plastic Straws. At TRVST we want to encourage people to take actions preventing further harm to the environment from single-use plastics. You can take a small step every time you enjoy a meal out by asking for non-plastic straws with your drink or carrying your own reusable straw. Or none at all.
How many plastic straws do we use a day?
Plastic straws are the ultimate in single-use convenience. Typically we only use them for the lifespan of a single drink before they are discarded.
We go through a staggering 25.3 billion plastic straws in Europe every year13. In the US it is said that we use 500 million straws a day, a statistic that became viral after its release back in 2011. This number has played a leading role in exposing quite how wasteful we are with plastic straws.
It turns out that this number was originated by a 9-year-old from Vermont, Milo Cress. Milo undertook the research as part of his own personal campaign to reduce plastic drinking straw usage. He called a bunch of manufacturers and averaged out the responses he received to indicate the volume of straws Americans use every single day.
It’s an important number that has been recognised as igniting the plastic straw ban movement and has been covered across America by a range of high profile publications including the New York Times, National Park Service and USA Today. Check a 10-year-old Milo talking about his work below on CNN (go, Milo!):