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RETHINK PLASTIC – SKIP THE STRAW SUNCOAST CAMPAIGN

Plastic is great, we thought it made our lives easier, that it can be recycled or that it just disappeared. Plastic does not biodegrade, it only breaks down to microplastics. Microplastics are tiny shards of plastic less than five millimetres in length and can come from a variety of sources one of them being the breakdown of plastic bottles and bags. Microplastics can now be found in: our oceans, our drinking water, in the tissues of marine mammals, stomachs of seabirds and water birds such as ducks.
We are now becoming aware of the reality that plastic is plaguing our environment. Plastic does not just disappear, it pollutes our water sources and soil like a disease.
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Americans use 500 million plastic drinking straws every day. The average use of a plastic straw is 20 minutes, but it will be around for approximately 600 years and many will end up in our oceans.
 Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen right here on Anna Maria Island
Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen right here on Anna Maria Island is one of a growing number of area beach restaurants that have joined the new campaign “Skip the Straw Suncoast.” This campaign was created to reduce and eliminate the use of single-use plastics straws and food containers. As part of the campaign to save the environment Eliza Ann’s and other Island restaurants will not be giving straws to their customers.
Did you know? —
• Since 1950, it is estimated that 9 billion tons of plastic has been produced and that more than 8 million tons of plastics waste end up in our oceans every year
• Only 9 to 12 percent has been recycled.
• American throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags every year! A plastic bag takes up to 1,000 years to break up.
• Plastic bags tends to float on the surface and can be mistaken for jellyfish which is a food staple for turtles and other marine life.
• Larger pieces of plastic also floats on the surface and can be mistaken as food.
  • By 2050 scientists predict plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean pound for pound.
• Medical studies are indicating serious health risks associated with plastics and polystyrene exposure.
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So what can we do?
Stop using plastic straws, use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when you go out, use reusable bags (a single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade), don’t use plasticware at home and take your lunch to work in reusable containers and bags. Although a great start, these are just few of many ways to reduce your waste in your every day life.
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Adjust our thinking…
Old: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
New: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Refuse the straw, Reduce plastic consumption & Reuse the plastics we already have, Recycle responsibly
Say NO to plastic straws and any kind of one-time use plastic items. The best option to reduce plastic waste items is to not generate them at all.
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