Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter

The Straw Seen Around the World

You may have heard the phrase "Skip the Straw" as it received notable media attention over the past year from restaurants to airlines to various legislative pieces around the world vowing to reduce or stop using single use plastic straws altogether. Join us in celebrating National Skip the Straw Day, February 22, 2019!

Why skip the straw?Skip the Straw Draft 2

  • We can't recycle straws. We don't have systems in place to effectively capture and recycle most straws. They quite literally fall through the cracks and are not captured for recycling.
  • They litter our environment. Plastic straws are among the top 10 items found on International Coastal Cleanup Day, meaning they are making their way to our water bodies as litter.
  • They can harm wildlife. You may have seen the video of a straw being pulled out of a sea turtles nostril. This is one of many examples of how wildlife can find themselves affected by plastic pollution. They can also become tangled in or consume plastics that have littered their environment.
  • They aren't sustainable. Simply put, plastic straws and other single use plastics are not a sustainable option, and we should be looking to reduce or reuse the materials in our day to day lives.

What can you do?

  • Spread the word: Plastic straws cannot be recycled in your residential recycling bin in most areas. Ensure any plastic straws are placed in the trash and do not end up as litter.
  • Ask for change. Suggest to restaurants and other establishments to adopt an "ask first" policy. Customers are not given a straw unless they ask for one.
  • Go reusable. If you must have a straw, go reusable only and refuse single use.
  • Volunteer. Sign up for a litter clean up in your community.
  • Reduce other single use plastics. We hope reducing your use of single use plastic straws is the first step to reducing other single use plastics in your life. Skip the plastic bag or plastic cup and replace with reusable options.

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