Why Plastic Straws?

Plastic straws are NOT recyclable and are one of the top 10 plastic items found on beaches around the world - every single year.

Why aren't plastic straws recyclable?

Most plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through mechanical recycling sorters. They drop through sorting screens and mix with other materials and are too small to separate, contaminating recycling loads or getting disposed as garbage.

How do plastic straws get into the ocean?

Plastic straws end up in the ocean primarily through human error, often 1) left on beaches in coastal communities and seaside resorts globally or 2) simply blown out of trash cans (oftentimes overfilled), boats and vehicles. Often straws are simply littered on sidewalks - remember, all gutters and storm drains lead to our ocean!

What happens once they're in the water?

An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has an estimated 50% mortality rate.

(SOURCE: Communication with Chris Wilcox, CSIRO, primary and contributing author to both studies cited)

What's equally as bad, perhaps even worse is that when plastic does make it into the ocean it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces known as "microplastics" rather than biodegrading or dissolving, which poses great threats to marine life including fish.

What would our oceans be without marine life?

What if people need to use a straw, are there alternatives?

Yes, some people need a straw! Some of our friends and neighbors physically require a straw simply to drink. Make sure to keep reusable and marine-friendly straws on-hand so that we can ALL live fully!

Many Bacardi accounts opt for FSC certified paper, sustainably sourced bamboo, or stainless steel alternative straws. Lonely Whale currently suggests these alternative suppliers.

Together, Lonely Whale and Bacardi are excited to create a global resource for individuals and institutions.

What about compostable plastic straws?

While compostable plastic straws are good in theory, they are only compostable if 1) there is an industrial composting facility in your community (often not the case) AND if 2) we dispose of them correctly (often we do not).

Compostable plastic straws are no better than regular plastic straws when they get into the marine environment. They are designed to break down in compost facility conditions, not sea water. That is why we support the switch to paper or reusable straws, not compostable plastic straws.

Why focus on plastic straws?

We already know that plastic bags and soda can rings are bad for the environment and end up in the ocean. Few people realize that straws are among the top 10 items found during beach clean ups around the world and can do so much harm to seabirds, turtles and other marine creatures.

As an item of convenience for the vast majority of us, we believe refusing the single-use plastic straw is the easiest and simplest way for everyone to take action today to address plastic pollution. If we all take the pledge to refuse single-use plastic straws we will see a significant decrease in the number of straws found during coastal cleanups.