DAR urges ‘no straws’ for September

Published 6:38 pm Monday, August 19, 2019

The daughters of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) are encouraging everyone to join them in skipping the plastic straw and participate in “No Straw September!”

“Skipping the straw is taking a stand against single use plastic pollution.  Small steps make a difference,” said Claire Murphy, conservation chair, Alabama Society Daughters of the American Revolution. “In just the United States alone, it is estimated that 500 million straws are used every day.  One study found that as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches.  Most plastics don’t decompose or biodegrade when we toss them.”

Murphy said plastics can stay in landfills for hundreds of years. 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“And plastic in the ocean floats around as small pieces, called micro plastics, that can poison animals and hurt the environment,” the DAR conservation chair said. “For example, to a sea turtle, these micro plastics can look like food.  Once swallowed, the plastic gets stuck and make the turtle think it is full and the turtle stops eating and dies.”   

In general, straws are not good for humans, Murphy said. Drinking sugary or acidic beverages through a straw can increase the likelihood of cavities. 

“Straws send a concentrated stream of liquid toward a small area of the teeth, which can erode enamel and cause tooth decay,” she said. “Repeated straw drinking causes people to purse their lips and can create wrinkles from repetitive muscle motion.”

The origin of the movement to ban plastic straws began with a nine-year-old boy named Milo Cress and his 2011 campaign, “Be Straw Free,” which raised awareness about plastic waste. 

“Americans use enough straws each day to fill 125 school buses,” Murphy said. “So, instead just don’t use straws. But, if you do, use paper, bamboo, glass or compostable straws. And, consider skipping those other single and always recycle your plastics.”