Over 50 million plastic straws are used each year by consumers. Many come from fast food restaurants and are used in soda, water and juice. Some people like to drink hot liquids through plastic straws, which is not recommended because it can cause major and minor burns. Most plastic straws end up in landfills and cannot be recycled.
Burning Your Mouth and Tongue
When using a straw, liquids tend to come out faster. If using a straw for hot liquids, you cannot gauge how hot the liquid is, and may suck the liquid too fast. This can result in burns on the roof of your mouth, lips, tongue and esophagus.The surprise of temperature can also cause a hand reaction to drop the cup onto your lap and burn your legs.
Chemicals in Plastic
Most plastic contains polypropylene and BPA, otherwise known as Bisphenol A, which can leak chemicals into the liquid. It is especially more present because the heat of liquid heats up the plastic. These chemicals are said to cause obesity, on-set puberty, and even cancer. Some manufacturers now take out BPA of their products.
Reusing a plastic straw isn’t recommended. Washing them can leave behind bacteria and germs. Most of the time they are not recycled because of the chemicals in them, and end up in landfills polluting the Earth.
Plastic Straw Alternatives
Glass straws are a much better alternative to plastic. They can be reused many times and don’t contain any chemicals. Other materials such as bamboo, paper, and stainless steel also come in straw form. These are much better for the environment and can be recycled.
References and ResourcesPlastic Symptoms, Causes, Treatment: What is low density polyethlyene
New York Times: Bisphenol-A Medicine and Health safety