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That’s the last straw! Why drinking from a straw actually is bad for you AND the environment

Those colorful plastic straws you poke into juice boxes or put inside a can of soda may be a part of your life, but do you know that they actually do more harm than good? Here’s a list of the dangers sipping on a straw can bring. (h/t to

  • “Smokers’ lips” – Frequent smoking makes people develop lines around their lips. Celebrity esthetician Renée Roleau warns that those who frequently use straws can develop smokers’ lips. She explains that drinking from a straw produces movement around the mouth area that encourages the quick breakdown of collagen and loss of skin elasticity. This leads to unsightly wrinkles and lines.
  • Teeth stains – You may think drinking from a straw prevents stain-causing liquids from marring the beauty of your pearly whites. But this only applies when you suck the liquid straight into your throat and miss your mouth, which seldom happens, anyway. Greenspoint Dental says that straws hardly protect your teeth from stains. On the contrary, it even lets you drink more and makes your teeth more susceptible to unflattering stains.
  • Excess gas – Drinking from a straw makes you take in excess air that causes gas. Dr. Jennifer Inra, a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston says drinking from a straw allows air to remain trapped in the upper part of the straw. She also adds that extra air in your gut can “fill you up more than that drink alone would.” The feeling, of course, is far from comfortable.
  • Bloating –  A bloated stomach is unsightly. No wonder everyone wants to avoid having one. So if you want to fit into your jeans and look great in tucked-in shirts, forget all about straws and look for natural remedies.
  • Cavities – Drinking from a straw is supposed to prevent cavities, but only if you position it directly at the back of your throat. It feels strange though. That’s why most people prefer to sip with the straw right smack at the center of their mouth. A report published in General Dentistry revealed that people run the risk of front tooth decay whenever they drink from a straw placed in front of their mouth.
  • Injuries, especially in children – Around 1,400 people rush to the emergency room yearly because of drinking straw injuries. Most of the incidents involve young children and mouth lacerations, corneal abrasions, and insertions in the ear and nose. A common incident involves a child accidentally falling with a straw or poking a sibling with what they consider as plastic playthings.
  • Environmental harm – One Green Planet reports that the 500,000,000 straws we produce yearly create tons of air pollution even before they reach us.
  • Straws kill whales and other marine life – This is one of the big reasons why we should shun straws completely. National Geographic reports that straws are the main sources of the eight million tons of plastic that float in the ocean every year. The big problem is, sea creatures, especially whales, mistake the little straws for food, and they can’t digest these offensive substances. Over six million people have viewed a shocking eight-minute viral video of the sea turtle with a stream of blood draining from its nostril, while two researchers try to extract a four-inch plastic straw.

No wonder yearly cleaning events have seen around six million straws and stirrers discarded from beaches for the past 25 years. These should serve as the last straw in this horrifying story of destruction. Otherwise, we’ll never see the end of it.

Head over to today to read more articles related to plastic pollution.

Sources include:

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