Nowadays, people have increasingly become more aware of the hazardous impact plastic has on our environment. But it doesn’t mean that plastic has lost its place completely; for example, supermarkets still offer plastic bags and coffee shops still provide plastic cups. These plastic products are then littered everywhere and can’t be destroyed for an extremely long time. Therefore it is our job to take action, even if it means changing our one- time- use plastic straw to a reusable one. Easily carried around clipped on to a keychain or placed in our pockets, collapsible metal straws are becoming the solution to replace harmful plastic straws.
|[ Photo taken by me- Trash thrown on the streets]|
A few months ago in Singapore, I routinely ordered a drink at Starbucks. Sticking a green plastic straw into the cold plastic cup as usual, I noticed my friend searching for something in her bag. She brought out a small plastic container and pulled out a shiny piece of metal. In amusement, I watched her drink out of the metal straw. The same day, I bought a metal straw for my own at a local coffee store; I have been using that metal straw everyday ever since.
Despite it sounding complicated, this portable metal straw is actually extremely convenient. The metal straw and a small cleaning tool is compacted into a small container with a color of choice. The metal straw is separated into four pieces with rubber between it that allows it to be folded. It is extremely simple to use and to carry it around daily, whether you go to school, work, or travel.
|[Photo taken by me]|
|[Photo taken by me]|
Metal straws are becoming a trend, as people state that they are “saving a turtle one straw at a time.” Mostly American teenage girls are gradually adapting to this metal straw, and it is slowly spreading globally and becoming easily accessible in stores like Amazon, Coffee Bean, and original stores like ‘Final Straw’. To introduce this portable metal straw and spread awareness, I interviewed my friend that I met up in Korea this summer.
|[Photo taken by friend- Me (left) interviewing friend Eunah Jo (right)]|
Q: I always see you drinking Starbucks at school. Do you use plastic straws every time you drink coffee? A: "Yeah, I do. Our school doesn’t really provide anything else so I always tend to use plastic straws."
Q: Are you aware of the portable and collapsible metal straw?
A: "I see like advertisements and viral clips of people using them, so I am aware. I have always wanted to buy it and use it, but I just never got the chance to. I know that metal straws became popular around last year or so, but the new collapsible and portable one is new and the idea is fascinating."
Q: What is your outlook on the metal straws?
A: "Honestly, I think plastic straws are one of the most used plastic products, so this is such a good opportunity to save the environment one method at a time. I think that it is affordable too, so almost everyone can use it. I also think that because it not only saves the environment but it is also just a small container with any color of choice, so I believe that it will attract lots of teenagers. Because it is so accessible, it is an opportunity for everyone to participate in saving the environment."
Q: If you think that the straws will attract teenagers, what do you think can be done to attract adults into using them as well?
A: "I still believe that the straws can widely be used. The problem is that adults do not have much exposure to social media that advertises these straws. So I think that this may be up for our generation to adopt this metal straw and introduce it to adults that drink beverages at work or at any other environment."
I brought out my blue metal straw container and Eunah could not hide her interest. She was so amused by the fact that everything could fit into such a small container, so she immediately added a metal straw to her shopping cart online. Hopefully, these convenient portable metal straws will replace all plastic straws. These metal straws might be the biggest step in reducing the use of plastic products. Anyone can take action and participate in saving the environment one metal straw at a time.
You can buy these metal straws on websites such as: https://finalstraw.com
Yoon Seo Kim
Singapore American School
Yoon Seo Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
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