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building a movement to end plastic pollution

Straws are an unnecessary utensil for most people and are often discarded after a single use (we’re lookin’ at you, iced coffee). These little suckers are a huge nuisance: Americans use more than 500 million plastic straws each day, they persist in the environment for more than 200 years, get lodged inside wildlife (see the deeply disturbing video below), and are one of the most common items to show up on beach cleanups.

As if it couldn’t get any worse, many straws are made from polystyrene, the same plastic used to make styrofoam, and are likely carcinogenic to humans. To sum it all up: they’re bad for the sea turtles AND FOR YOU. So what are you waiting for? Let’s stop sucking together.

So what can you do beyond never using a plastic straw again?

You can work on passing a local ban on plastic straws except upon request. It’s an effective way to reduce plastic pollution and help grow the movement against single use plastics! Use the resources on this page to help you get your State or local government to pass a straws upon request law.


You can download our model “Plastic Trifecta Ordinance” and use it as a starting point with your elected representatives. It is drafted to ban plastic bags, polystyrene, and straws (except upon request). We recommend doing all three at once, if possible!

The Plastics Trifecta - Ban Straws, Bags & Polystyrene in one fell swoop


Here is some sample petition language you can use for your online petition.


Check out our handy Straw Fact Sheet – available to download as a PDF. Haga clic aquí para descargar en Español.



Like facts? (We do). Need to arm yourself with more information? We recommend reading the two reports below to help you make your case: