In the states, I never really thought about plastic. I never thought about how terribly bad it is. After being here for about two months, I have learned how insanely terrible plastic really is.
For example, did you know that we use enough straws to wrap around the world 2.5 times every year? Is it just me, or is that crazy!? 1 plastic straw takes about 400 years to break down. Plastic itself was only invented about 100 years ago, so that means that every plastic straw that you have ever used is most likely floating in the ocean as we speak. I find that absolutely ridiculous.
Did you also know that humans sometimes end up eating the plastic that we have dumped in the the ocean? You see, when the plastic that we have littered into the ocean gets eaten by sea creatures, later on when fishermen catch these animals we end up eating the plastic that they have already digested. How disgusting is that? I know that I don’t really want to eat plastic. Sadly the other pieces of plastic that get into the ocean sometimes trap, harm or even kill animals that we say that we love, like dolphins and sea turtles.
The country of New Zealand is much better at using less plastic than we are at home. Instead of using plastic wrap or tin foil, they use beeswax covers that are waterproof, they stick together, and they are reusable. They come in all different colors and sizes. They also have stainless steel straws that are a solution for plastic straws, and are also reusable.
What is really cool, is that kids here just have the habit of recycling plastic. It is a really big topic of discussion. The fact that everyone else cares, has made me start to care.
This term at school our topic has been ‘actions speak louder than words.’ We also had to write a speech that supported this topic.
My mind immediately clicked. I was going to write my speech on plastic straws. While researching this topic, I learned so many things about plastic straws. After doing this project, I have learned all about what the effects of plastic are, and what we can do to help.
We have found solutions like paper straws and stainless steel straws, but I think that paper straws are a better solution.
My parents think it’s cool that they’re learning about the environment and better solutions from me; and I kind of like that too. If you’re interested, help me to spread the word. Make people care, and tell them how they can help. I challenge you to stop and think the next time you are face to face with a plastic straw, and think: is the possibility of a sea creature getting hurt or possibly killed worth just one straw?
The real challenge is to just say ‘no.’