To: David Lassner, UH President and Interim UHM Chancellor
University of Hawaii at Manoa campus Ban on Plastic Straws
500 million plastic straws are used and discarded everyday in United States. Approximately 18 million plastic straws are used and discarded every year in UH Manoa campus. Each straw is used for an average of less than ten minutes, but they can persist in the environment for up to a million years. Plastic pollution is poisoning our world. The University of Hawaii at Manoa community is saying NO to this thoughtless pollution and demanding a ban on single-use plastic straws.
These are not only made from petroleum (nonrenewable resource) but are also rarely recycled. Being small and lightweight, they often end up in the ocean, get ingested by marine life, photo-degrade into micro plastics, turn into a toxic mess, and make their way up our food chain (and into our bodies).
It is time to turn towards better alternatives such as paper straws along with "straws upon request". The convenience of plastic straws are NOT worth the profound impacts on the health of our oceans, beaches, waterways, wildlife, and people.
Why is this important?
As an institution which prides itself on it’s progressive and environmentally conscious ideology, it’s time for the University of Hawaii at Manoa to step up and eliminate single use plastic straws from campus.
If 17,600 undergraduate and graduate students at University of Hawaii at Manoa, can publicly make this one simple change in their campus life, it will encourage other schools as well as small and large businesses to also make the change.