Saving the environment one straw at a time


Gabrielle Wood

Reusable straws have become mildly popular and should be used instead of plastic.

Plastic straws have become a controversial topic for many individuals who are advocates for the environment. I, personally, believe not using plastic straws is a big step in making the world a cleaner and healthier place.

As the years have passed, humans have seen a steady decrease in the overall wellness of the world. This has been from polluting and harming the environment with all of the waste we produce and release into the environment. One common type of waste is plastic. stated how much of an impact plastic straws have been on the environment. According to the website, Americans use millions of plastic straws a day. Those straws litter our streets, lands, shorelines and oceans. Plastic drinking straws are among the top 10 contributors to marine debris pollution.

Plastic straws are also not biodegradable, so they cannot be broken down after its use. This creates an issue because plastic will never truly disappear once it’s been created.

Being just one person in a big world, it may seem like there’s not much of an impact that one person can make. However, cutting out plastic straws from one’s daily routine is the start of making an environmental impact.

Instead of using plastic straws, people could be using paper straws, stainless steel, or even no straw at all.

There are many places where you can purchase reusable straws such as Walmart, Target, and Trader Joe’s. Well-known stores are selling these straws to customers as a great way to promote non-plastic straws to a wide audience. There should also be more commercials and advertisements on this issue because that would reach many viewers.

Businesses are also starting to move away from plastic straws by not providing them to their customers. It is a great idea for these companies to participate in this initiative because being so popular influences people to a greater level. Starbucks has changed their cup lids to be drink-accessible without having to use a straw. All food service companies should also consider being apart of this movement. This will help out the environment enormously because it is less plastic that will end up in local trash cans.

Here on campus, the Main Dish started incorporating an alternative to its plastic straws by providing paper straws. So many students use straws in the cafeteria so this is a great idea, and a big step in making a change in our university.

My family has also decided not to use plastic straws in our daily lives. My mother has purchased reusable straws through Amazon, and it has been something that I find useful. My sisters also take them to their own schools and use them in-between meals. The use of reusable straws has become very well-known in the younger age groups.

When ordering drinks at restaurants or fast food places, most of the time I order something without a straw. Although it may seem like a hassle, it really is simple and easy to do. All I have to do is bring my own straw to use or sip from the cup itself.

Washing the straws has been convenient as well. I just put my stainless steel straw into the dishwasher daily. The key is simply keeping it sanitary and remembering to carry it wherever I go.

It is nice to feel like I am making a difference in the world and contributing to making a healthier environment one reusable straw at a time. The more people are seen using them, the more people will want to join the bandwagon as well.

Should plastic straws be banned?


Stephen Brayard, Junior, History

“If you are going to ban plastic straws, you need to ban other plastic materials because most companies pump out plastics much more harmful to the environment.”

Peyton Sawyer, Junior, Communication

“They should not be banned because you are not changing much by banning them. We still have other plastic materials such as bags here on campus that leave far more of an impact on the environment.”

John Rhodus, Junior, Industrial Technology

“If we could find an adequate replacement for them, I would say yes.”


Eros Barajas, Freshman, Criminal Justice

“Well, I think all straws are bad because the suction and the pressure will actually deform your teeth.”


Dustin Hunt, Senior, Computer Science

“I do not see any reason to ban them. They are cost effective, and I don’t like paper straws.”


Will Mobley, Senior, Criminal Justice

“I do not think they should be banned entirely but I think they should be limited. We should focus more on encouraging people to bring their own straws or cups.”


Reggie Elloie, Sophomore, Management

“I think they should be banned because it is a huge waste.”


Taylor Alonzo, Sophomore, Kinesiology

“I believe that banning plastic straws will go a long way in helping clean up the environment but we should not ban them for people who need them.”


Kendall Lee, Graduate Student, Applied Sociology

“I personally try not to use plastic straws but the problem of pollution is way bigger than just straws. It is not the biggest issue facing the environment.”


Sijan Tiwari, Senior, Computer Science

“Strictly thinking about the environment, yes but I believe that there are better alternatives.”


Heather Williams, Sophomore, Psychology and Nursing

“Yes, because it is good for the environment.”

Nyeshia Brumfield, Sophomore, Communication

“I think that they should be banned because the plastic straws always end up in the oceans and paper straws are far better for the environment.”