If you've been watching the news recently or scrolling through Facebook, you've probably seen a whole lotta hate for plastic straws. People are saying that they are an environmental apocalypse and need to be banned.

So why all the hate all the sudden for plastic straws?

Well, it turns out that there are about 500,000 of the plastic tubes thrown away every day. That's a lot of plastic. Because they cannot be recycled, they end up in landfills or in the ocean. One El Paso restaurant even decided to go to paper straws because they said one of the biggest contributors of an almost 80,000 tons of plastic floating in a mass in the ocean is plastic straws.

According the National Geographic, that isn't exactly true:

"Microplastics make up 94 percent of an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the patch. But that only amounts to eight percent of the total tonnage. As it turns out, of the 79,000 metric tons of plastic in the patch, most of it is abandoned fishing gear—not plastic bottles or packaging drawing headlines today."

Conclusion? Yes, plastic straws are bad. Paper straws or reusable straws are a better way to suck up your drink. And as bad as that floating island in the ocean is, it isn't made up of just plastic straws.

If you want to stop using straws, make sure you tell your waiter or waitress before they bring one to your table. Once it gets to your table, chances are they will just throw it away when they bus the table even if the straw isn't used. And there are a lot of reusable straws for sale out there. Get a metal or recyclable one and carry it with you.

We all need to do what we can to save the planet. Figuring out a better way to suck up a drink is a small way, but a step in the right direction.

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