Nantucket Organization Seeking End of Plastic Straw Use

NANTUCKET – More than 500 million straws are used daily in the United States and, tragically, a large percentage of these end up in our oceans. Nantucket selectman Rita Higgins says that in July and August alone, approximately 3 million are used on the Island.

February 23rd was National Skip the Straw Day.

George Donnelly, Communication Director of the Maria Mitchell Foundation ,a Nantucket science organization founded in 1902, , explains the goal and reason. “To try to reduce or ban plastic straws. You use them for five minutes but they take thousands of years to break down. Often they end up in the oceans, much to the detriment of marine animals.”

Sea turtles are particularly prone to experiencing the long, painful death caused by ingesting plastic.

In the documentary titled “Straws”, their history, from invention through today, is examined. Activist and Oscar winner Tim Robbins does the narration.

Donnelly comments about one activity those involved with the campaign are doing. “They’re approaching various businesses asking them to either ban or reduce plastic straws. Either making it so people have to ask for them, or in the cases where they do have straws, using biodegradable alternatives.”

In addition, people can ask their server to not provide a straw.

Another option is reusable straws, which are mainly made of stainless steel, are very cheap and a cinch to clean.

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