In November of 2016, One More Generation founders Olivia, age 14, and her brother Carter, age 16, launched the global OneLessStraw Pledge Campaign. This served as an effort to clean up the marine environment and educate people of the harms associated with single use plastic straws.
Americans use an estimated 500,000,000 plastic straws every day, which is equivalent to 1.6 straws for every man, woman and child. This is enough to circle the earth 2.5 times per day!
Plastic straws are a persistent pollutant in marine environments, and according to the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean-Up reports, they are one of the top items found littered on beaches. Straws take up to 200 years to break down, and the leaching of chemicals during decomposition poses a threat to animal and human health. Additionally, straws are harmful to wildlife due to possible ingestion and injury.
One year after its inception, NAMEPA joined the over 400 partner organizations to support the OneLessStraw campaign. These partners include environmental organizations such as: Surfrider, Restore America’s Estuaries, Ocean Conservancy, and National Geographic. Zoos, aquariums, restaurants and schools are also represented among members.
Reducing plastic usage seems like a daunting task, since plastic is such a regular part of today’s society. Start by signing the online pledge, refusing a straw next time you go to a restaurant, or purchasing a set of reusable straws. After signing the pledge, you will receive a coupon code for a glass straw. Stainless steel and acrylic straws are other options.
Since the launch of the OneLessStraw campaign, over 3,000 people from over 46 countries have signed the online pledge stating that “they promise not to use a single use plastic straw for at least 30 days.” NAMEPA encourages you to sign the OneLessStraw pledge as one way to help “Save Our Seas!”