Ban the use of plastic straws in Los Angeles, California

Ban the use of plastic straws in Los Angeles, California

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Madison Jensen started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and

In our day-to-day lives, we use plastic more than we realize. For breakfast, you might head to Starbucks and grab an iced coffee to-go with a plastic straw. Later, a trip to the grocery store could leave you with plastic wrappers from food that you purchased and bags to carry it in. Sure, it's convenient, but the effects of plastic on our planet and your health aren't worth it.
Grocery bags, soda bottles, and notably, plastic straws, all lead to harmful environmental consequences. Plastic straws are used and disposed of at alarming rates. For example, in the United States alone, 500 million straws are used each and every day. We need to stop using plastic straws now before it is too late.

A study conducted in 2010 revealed that 8,000,000 tons of plastic were thrown into the ocean. This number is only expected to rise in future years. To put this into perspective, a report from the World Economic Forum suggested that by 2050, oceans will be home to more plastic than fish. By then, plastic will be entering the ocean at a rate of four garbage truckloads per minute.

The plastic that ends up in our oceans is incredibly dangerous. Plastic can be thought of as a magnet, and a toxic one, because it attracts other chemicals and bacteria in the ocean waters. Plastic straws contain polypropylene and Bisphenol A (BPA), which both leach dangerous chemicals. If the plastic is left out in the heat, the effects of the chemicals are worsened.

Plastic is also harmful to animals that inhabit the oceans. In 2015, a video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nostril went viral on YouTube. It is not only sea turtles that are affected—seals, sea lions, seabirds, fish, whales, and dolphins are all at risk as a result of plastic pollution in oceans. If you care about the cute animals that live in the ocean, you should try to stop using plastic straws.

Because plastic is designed to be extremely durable, it doesn't biodegrade. This means that the plastic straw that you drank from will outlive you by a lot. You might only use the straw for 10 minutes, but the majority of plastic takes nearly 500 years to decompose. Most plastic isn't recycled, which is why it either ends up in a landfill or an ocean. Seriously, let that sink in—the plastic straw you sipped on at a bar last night will be around far longer than you will.

Instead of using plastic straws, individuals should consider investing in a glass or stainless steel straw. That way, you can wash and reuse your straw. This is a small price to pay to reduce the amount of plastic that you use and help the environment.

You as an individual can also take on the Last Plastic Straw challenge and join the movement to end the use of plastic straws. Next time you're at a restaurant or bar, remember to ask the wait staff not to include a straw in your drink. This could also start an interesting discussion with them and spread the message about plastic.

As a high school student, there is only so much I can do to ban the use of plastic straws, but I don't just want to sit back and do nothing, which is why I am asking for help. As the mayor of Los Angeles, governor of the state of California, and the President of the United States of America, I would love for the four of us to start small, and  ban the use of plastic straws in Los Angeles, California.

It's never too late to stop using plastic straws. Drinking an iced coffee might be the best part of your day, but it will taste just as delicious without the toxic plastic straw.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!