Research Project.docx - Plastic Straws Impacting our...

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Plastic Straws: Impacting our Environment Prepared for Management at Threes Above High Prepared by Jacob Binegar Bartender at Threes Above High
Contents Executive Summary … ................................................................................................. 3 Introduction … ................................................................................................................ 5 Purpose .............................................................................................................. 5 Methods … .......................................................................................................... 5 Problems with Plastic: An Overview .......................................................................... 6 Plastic Pollution: By the Numbers ................................................................. 6 Plastics in the Sea ............................................................................................ 6 Degradation and Fragmentation .................................................................... 7 Plastic Straws ............................................................................................................... 7 Statistics ............................................................................................................ 7 Data collected from Threes Above High ...................................................... 8 Straw use/cost ...................................................................................... 8 Customer Preference: Survey Responses ....................................... 8 Alternatives ....................................................................................................... 9 Joining the Fight .............................................................................................. 9 Recommendations … .................................................................................................. 10 References … ............................................................................................................... 11 Appendix … .................................................................................................................. 12
Executive Summary Pollution is known as the addition of a substance to the environment at a rate faster than it can be dispersed, diluted, decomposed, recycled, or stored in some harmless form. (Nathanson, 2018) Plastic has become a leading form of pollution due to its single-use, disposable nature. Plastics continue to accumulate on land and in the oceans, where they are releasing greenhouse gases (methane, ethylene) into the atmosphere during their degradation process. There has been a worldwide movement to counter plastic pollution, beginning with the banning of plastic drinking straws in restaurants around the world. This movement has caused our company, Threes Above High, to consider joining this ban on plastic straws and to investigate eco-friendly alternatives.
Introduction The production of plastic is increasing at an exponential rate, and with more plastic being produced every year, more plastic is finding its way into landfills, onto coastlines, and into oceans. Because plastic isn’t biodegradable, it sits in our environment for decades. As these plastics degrade in the environment over time, they release toxin chemicals, such as methane and ethylene, into the atmosphere. Plastic and micro-plastic debris is also known to be extremely harmful to wildlife. There have been numerous documented cases of animals found dead, with plastic particles in their stomachs. A recent video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose went viral and sparked a worldwide movement to banish plastic straw usage. Restaurants and companies around the world are making pledges to ban single-use plastic straws in an attempt to reduce the amount of plastic consumers are subconsciously contributing to lay waste in the environment. Purpose The purpose of this project is to examine the negative effects that plastic has on the environment. This project will then discuss statistics regarding plastic straw use and analyze customer (from Threes Above High) responses toward plastic straws. Finally, this project will discuss alternatives to single-use plastic straws, companies that have joined the movement to ban such items, and suggestions to management at Threes Above High regarding their use of these straws in the future.

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