Maybe Straws Aren't The Big Picture

  • Several companies have banned straws because of their environmental impact
  • It turns out straws didn’t even make the Top Five when it comes to the most common types of litter
  • The worst types of litter include cigarette butts, paper, food wrappers, confections and napkins/tissues

As you've probably heard, several companies, including Starbucks, Marriott and Disney, are banning straws because of the environmental impact they have, but it turns out, straws are far from the worst type of litter out there.

Straws are getting a lot of news, but on a volume basis, straws are literally … a drop in a bucket," Noah Ullman, CMO of Keep America Beautiful, tells “USA Today.”

The nonprofit, which works with more than 600 community-based affiliates and organizations to end litter, recently released a national study, and straws didn’t even make the Top Five, when it comes to the most common types of litter. The Top Five actually include: 

  1. Cigarette butts
  2. Paper
  3. Food wrappers
  4. Confections
  5. Napkins/tissues

The organization notes that people are mostly to blame for these types of litter getting into the environment. “The products themselves generally aren’t bad in and of themselves," Mark Dancy, president of Waste Zero, says. "They become bad if you don’t recycle them. The worst is if they become litter."

Other common litter offenders include:

  • Tissues
  • Receipts
  • Gum wrappers
  • Plastic bottles
  • Beverage cans

Source: USA Today

PHOTO: Getty Images

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