New fads are constantly arising among teenagers. Whether it be fashion trends or technological devices, Leesville students are always keeping up with the next big thing. A majority of the time, these fads are nothing less than an effort to remain “cool,” although recently a new trend has found its way to the halls of LRHS. Reusable straws are shown off on Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter as people showcase their newest accessory purchased from Amazon.
The movement originally began with Maddie Mareno, Leesville junior. Mareno has always been an environmentally conscious individual and lessened her carbon footprint even more with the purchase of her metal straws. She influenced many peers and friends to do the same thing, and since then, has started a movement. While some might just be using the straws to stay up to date on “what’s popping,” the purpose of the reusable straws goes beyond that.
It is no secret that plastic is an awful addition to our environment as it is not biodegradable, but what’s even worse, are single use plastic items. “Single use” plastics have a short lifespan usually being used only once, then discarded to landfill. Over 500 million straws are used every single day, usually only for around 20 minutes, then thrown away according to NPA Commercial Services. Being that straws contain BPA, they cannot be recycled. Straws easily find their way into oceans and disrupt the habitats of our sealife. They are lodged into sea turtles noses, they are mistaken as food and cause death, and much more.
Plastic straws serve no beneficial purpose and therefore need to be discontinued. But, if you are like many students at Leesville who prefer the feel of a straw, you too can join the “wave” and purchase a straw alternative. There are plenty of options like metal or silicone straws that come in various sizes and colors. They are easily found on amazon.
“I got metal straws because my friend Maddie told me about them and she explained how straws were something that seriously hurt the environment and how buying metal straws was something very cheap and easy that can have a major impact,” said Colleen Morgan, Leesville senior.
Say “no” to the straw at restaurants and fast food places and bring your own. This is not only saving the environment but also a great conversation starter to spread more awareness about the topic.