How You Can Save the Turtles and Reduce Plastic Pollution in the Ocean - Zero Waste Outlet

How You Can Save the Turtles and Reduce Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

Posted by Ken Lewis on

Plastic pollution is an ever-growing problem. So what can we do as consumers to combat the crisis at hand? Read on to see why reusable metal straws are one of the best alternatives to plastic straws.

Plastic Straws Create Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

The facts on plastic pollution follow us everywhere. And for a good reason. 

Zero-waste products need our focus and attention now more than ever. 

The BAN list 2.0 said it perfectly: 

“Plastic – a material invented to last forever – can no longer be used to make products intended to be thrown away. There is no away.”

More specifically, we see a lot of stats about plastic pollution in the ocean and the toll it’s taking on our environment and animals. 

Did you know that 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans each year?

Sadly, animals in the ocean are drowning in our plastic pollution. 

A recent study found that 100% of turtles have plastic in their stomachs. These animals can’t help themselves. And neither can land animals suffering from plastic pollution. 

We’ve got to step up and demand change for their sake and ours.


What’s Being Done About Plastic Straw Waste

While there have been some improvements and small steps towards using and eliminating plastic straws, it’s not enough. 

Currently, there are no national bans on plastic straws in the U.S

But many city and state governments have taken steps to boycott plastic use. Especially in high-hitting companies providing to-go beverages.

Large corporations have attempted efforts to reduce plastic waste by making pledges to switch to eco-friendly straws, utensils, and drinkware.


→ Starbucks has created a straw-less lid for cold drinks and only provides straws upon request. In an effort to eliminate one billion plastic straws globally each year, they’re testing both paper and bioplastic straws in different stores. 

The results? Customers complain about the paper getting soggy. They still request plant-based plastic straws, even with the “strawless” lids. And most feel no guilt asking for a straw because they believe it’s a safer alternative… but little does the common consumer know – bioplastics are not the answer to our plastic pollution crisis.

→ Dunkin Donuts switched to a biodegradable straw. They also eliminated styrofoam cups, replacing them with paper cups.

And despite these efforts, both of these corporations remain top contributors to plastic pollution waste. An extensive study shows that both Starbucks and Dunkin’ straws and stirrers were the most commonly found among plastic pollution. 

It goes to show:

“The best alternative is to replace harmful plastic products with reusable/refillable products that can provide the same service without using any disposable materials at all. We call this a “functional replacement” of an unnecessary, harmful plastic product.” 

BAN List 2.0



Introducing: The Reusable Metal Straw. 

Solving Your Straw Addiction + Providing an Alternative to Plastic Straws.

It’s okay. You’re addicted to straws. You need a straw because it feels comforting, it’s convenient, it helps you stay hydrated and drink more. We get it! 

You don’t have to give up your straw addiction to reduce your plastic use and create meaningful change. The answer is simple – switch to a reusable metal straw. Alternatives to plastic straws could create massive changes for the pollution in the ocean and the environment.

Despite your concerns about a metal straw being an inconvenience, hear us out. It’s actually incredibly convenient.


Metal straws are:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Sturdy
  • Endlessly reusable
  • Recyclable at the end of its life (... though we’d argue these don’t have an end of life)

Why Metal Straws Are Superior to Other Reusable Straws and Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic Straws 

We might be biased, but we’ve still got a pretty good case for why you should choose a metal straw over other alternatives to plastic straws.

  • Paper straws… get soggy, waste paper material, and aren’t reusable 
  • Bamboo reusable strawsare harder to clean, often get gunk stuck in the crevices
  • Silicone reusable strawsare still plastic and many won’t be sturdy like metal straws
  • Plastic reusable strawsare better than single-use plastic straws, but still plastic

To create a zero-waste world and live zero-waste lifestyles, we need to focus on eliminating plastic from our lives completely. 


Tips for Switching to Reusable Metal Straws

Like any zero-waste product, sometimes there’s a learning curve, or it takes a bit of work on the front end to make the transition. And it takes commitment. But not to worry, we’ve got plenty of tips to support you on your journey to a zero-waste lifestyle. 

  • Keep a pack of metal straws in your car
  • Invest in various metal straws (thicker, thinner, bent, and straight!)
  • Keep a reusable straw pouch or container with you, so your metal straws stay clean and ready to use anytime
  • A straw cleaning brush can help you clean the gunk off between uses
  • Stick a note on your dashboard to remind you to use your reusable straw at the drive-through
  • Order in bulk, so you never run out of straws when some are running through the wash

Want to challenge yourself and find more new ideas to transition to a zero-waste lifestyle? Check out our blog post, where we break it down into simple, tangible steps.

Other ways you can help Stop the Pollution from Single-Use Plastic Straws

Switching to reusable metal straws is extremely helpful for our plastic straw problem. But there’s still lots of work we can do as supporters of the zero-waste movement. Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning: 

  • Educate friends or family on the dangers of plastic pollution and plastic straws
  • Invest in metal straws for your house (keep a large supply for gatherings and parties)
  • Gift metal straws to others (coworkers, friends, family, a stranger on the street!)
  • Join in a beach clean up or donate to an initiative for plastic pollution prevention
  • Use a plastic calculator to track and adjust your plastic use, with the goal to eliminate plastic completely 

Let’s Create Positive Change: Choose Zero-Waste Products

All it takes on your part is effort and intention. With one simple, sustainable swap, you can help save the turtles and many other ocean and land animals from plastic pollution. It won’t be immediate, but every choice counts. 

Reducing plastic waste is incredibly important for human life. 

Now more than ever, we must prioritize zero-waste products. Let’s start with something as simple as transitioning to a plastic-straw alternative. 

Metal straws – are you in? 

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