Plastic waste is viewed as the biggest pollutant since people use different items made of plastic for various purposes on a daily basis. For example, plastic-based popular items, such as drinking straws and cutlery, are popular among people. However, these significantly contribute to microplastic pollution of the environment. Such smaller items are disposable and some of them find their way into the environment thereby polluting it.
Why micro pollution is a cause for concern?
Smaller products made of plastic, such as drinking straws, are problematic in that they are not commercially viable for recycling. As such, these items would end up being disposed of in landfills since they are valueless after use. The other issue is that whether recycled or not, plastic will remain “alive.”
Recycling waste plastic material is not the best option of eliminating it since it will return to a different product but still the same. Its negative impact on the environment does not change simply because it has been recycled. On the other hand, the major challenge of disposing plastic in landfills is that it does not decompose easily like other biodegradable material.
This means that waste plastic material will continue to exist even for millions of years and still pose a threat to the environment. In other words, the best alternative to address the challenges posed by plastic material is to reduce its demand by finding other options that can replace it in different scenarios.
This can also be achieved by stopping the use of single-use plastic utensils. You would rather use portable utensils that are made of steel, especially if you are going camping instead of using plastic products. Just after a single-use, plastic utensils like spoons and forks may no longer be necessary and you may be compelled to dispose of them.
What is the alternative to plastic straws?
Indeed, microplastic pollution is rampant in different places but the good news is that it can be managed through the use of other safe environmental solutions. Smaller items like drinking straws that are in daily demand can be replaced by silicon straws which constitute a good alternative to plastic ones. There are several advantages that can be obtained from using silicone straws.
Why reusable products
The main advantage of using foldable drinking silicon straws is that they are safe to the environment since they are reusable unlike other smaller plastic items. This alternative is an excellent solution and replacement of plastic straws due to many reasons. First and foremost, it should be noted that silicone straws consist of food-grade material.
Instead of getting a plastic straw every time you buy a drink, you can instead use the one made of silicone that you already have for that purpose. A reusable straw is easy to keep since you can fold it and safely keep it for future use. You will not be forced to buy similar plastic products.
The other aspect that you can consider in a bid to reduce microplastic pollution is that reusable straws are versatile and can be used for different purposes. You can use the same product in coffee shops, restaurants and you can also use it for hiking or camping. Therefore, this small but very important item can significantly reduce the demand of plastic straws which is good for the environment.
Plastic consists of chemicals that can affect the quality of your food or beverage. Such chemicals can affect the health of the users as well as animals. On top of that, the chemicals produced by plastic can also affect the environment. Whenever there is a biodegradable option to single-use plastic items, you would rather go for that to reduce the impact of microplastic pollution.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com