Disposable plastic straws are not recyclable, therefore they often end up in landfills, oceans, or the environment. Americans throw away half a billion of them every day, according to the National Park Service.
Strawless in Seattle —
The city of Seattle will be one of the first to impose a ban on plastic straws and utensils starting in June 2018. In the UK, pub chain Wetherspoons has stopped serving plastic straws across 900 outlets, switching to a biodegradable alternative.
Drowning in plastic —
Plastic pollution has rapidly accelerated, with eight million tons entering the marine environment each year, according to scientists. This figure is set to rise as production of the material is set to double over the next 20 years.
Endangered species such as sea turtles could be driven to extinction by the plastic plague.
Burning problem —
In many of the worst affected countries such as China and the Philippines, local people lack the infrastructure to properly dispose of plastic waste. In some cases they burn it, releasing dangerous gases associated with cancer.