April 8, 2018
Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of trash floating in the oceans of the world is plastic. Plastic accounts as the most harmful man-made item to threatened and endangered sea turtles that are ingesting this plastic waste especially straws.
As the plastic straws travel around the ocean they break into tiny pieces that are then easily ingested by marine life. Threatened and Endangered sea turtles are greatly affected by this action. Sea turtles mistake floating plastic items for food. While plastic bags are the most commonly ingested item found in turtles, straws are a close second.
Not using or switching to earth friendly straws may seem small, but the effect on endangered and threatened sea turtles can be huge. Switching the straw may seem small on the individual level, but the impact it can have on the environment and sea turtles is huge.
The Network for Endangered and Threatened Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) is encouraging restaurants on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to provide straws only on request and if that request is made, offer paper straws as an alternative to plastic straws. Outer Banks restaurants can let their customers know that they are doing their part to help the environment and assisting in the survival of one of nature’s finest … the sea turtles.