Inspired by upsetting footage of a plastic straw being pulled from a sea turtle’s nostril, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation's College and Youth teams were motivated to address the problem with plastic straws as a part of ISF's Water Campaign to reduce water pollution. Discovering that plastic straws are among the top ten ocean debris found in ocean clean-ups, we set our focus on #TheFinalStraw.
The Final Straw campaign aims to shed light on how plastic straws contribute to water pollution and negatively impact our waters and ocean ecosystem. Our goal is to: 1) Inform individuals, companies, and institutions to become more familiar with the commonly overlooked effects of plastic straw use and 2) Convince individuals and businesses to ultimately adopt alternatives to plastic straws.
In the United States alone, 500 million plastic straws are used every day, contributing to the estimated 8 million tons of plastic that enter our oceans every year. By 2050, it is expected that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish! What's the problem? Plastic straws are made with a petroleum bi-product polypropylene that does not degrade. As a result, this plastic remains in our waters and can be consumed by aquatic animals.
Why do we use plastic straws anyway? It is simply an old habit that over years has become assimilated into our social behavior. When you really think about how unnecessary straws are in most cases, it really is silly, especially when you consider the impact they have on our environment.
There are many ways that kids, adults, restaurants, businesses, and universities can get involved in supporting our cause to reduce plastic straw use on campus. We encourage you to switch to more sustainable alternatives to plastic straws and also to help us raise awareness on this issue.
Below you'll find our downloadable STRAWS poster and "The Final Straw" Infographic for you to use to learn more and talk with others about the problem with plastic straws!
The Ian Somerhalder Foundation is not the only organization taking on plastic straws as a major contributor to water pollution! We are joining forces with The Loney Whale Foundation and their Strawless Ocean campaign to get society to #stopsucking on plastic straws. Join our efforts and take the Lonely Whale Foundation's #StopSucking challenge!