At present, the global consumption of plastic straws is staggering. The United States alone discards about 500 million plastic straws every day, and the total length of the connected straws can be two and a half times around the earth.
Because plastic straws are difficult to reuse, most restaurants do not classify them as recyclable waste, so the ultimate fate of plastic straws is to fall into a landfill or float on the ocean. The service life of a plastic straw is only about 20 minutes, but it takes more than 200 years to naturally degrade into small molecules. The plastic straws that enter the water are often eaten by animals such as turtles, seabirds and fish.
British Minister of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove issued a statement saying that disposable plastic products are a scourge to the ocean and will cause serious harm to the environment and wildlife. People must now take action to protect the marine ecology. British waste disposal company "Commercial Waste" lists plastic straws as "difficult to recycle" items, calling it "the ultimate waste of mankind."
Statistics show that, including plastic straws, more than 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the ocean every year, causing serious impacts on marine life, fisheries, and tourism, and causing economic losses of 8 billion US dollars. Plastic waste kills millions of seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals and countless fish every year. Studies have shown that if you ignore the status quo, the weight of plastic garbage in the ocean will exceed the total weight of fish by the year 5050.
Plastic waste not only harms marine life, it may also threaten human health. Plastic waste will gradually break down in the ocean, forming a large number of microplastic particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm. The toxic and harmful substances contained in the microplastic particles themselves, as well as the toxic and harmful substances adsorbed in the water, will accumulate through the food chain and may eventually enter the human body.