And You Creations announces a new partnership with local Hawaii-based glass artist Arlie Pemberton to combat single-use plastics this month. Arlie’s embellished, handmade glass straws will be for sale within the And You Creations shop – Treasures and You – by the end of the month.
Single-use Plastic straws are one of the most commonly found pieces of trash on beaches. The Washington Post reported that Americans alone use half a billion plastic straws every day. That’s enough to wrap around the globe two and a half times! And in Hawaii, CNN has reported that nearly half of shoreline trash is made up of plastic.
As a Hawaii Ecotourism Association certified sustainable tour operator, And You Creations believes it is important to provide our guests with eco-friendly alternatives to common goods that can cause the ocean harm.
Why are single-use plastics a problem?
Simply put, plastic is a substance that neither the land or the ocean can break down. The average piece of plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose!
In the ocean, plastics pose even greater dangers. Wind or streams pick up plastic trash and carry it into the ocean, where marine life can mistake it for food. Researchers warn that if we continue disposing plastics at the current rate, the world might have more plastic trash than fish in the oceans by 2050.
The crusade to end single-use plastic pollution gained steam in 2015 after a video, which graphically depicts a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose, went viral. According to National Geographic, some 700 species of marine animals have been reported so far to have eaten or become entangled in plastic.
Since then, scientists have discovered that small pieces of plastics can be dangerous for ocean life, too. When these “micro-plastic” particles travel up the food chain, they can poison larger animals, such as whales and dolphins. Studies have even found plastic chemicals in human bloodstreams.
As this information has become more widely known, several companies – and even whole countries – have introduced single-use plastic bans.
And You Creations’ sustainability efforts
Unfortunately, the Dolphins and You crew is all too familiar with plastic pollution in the ocean. The crew works to pick up two pieces of trash per crew member, per day from the ocean.
But that’s not the only effort the And You Creations tours make. Recycling receptacles are provided on all Dolphins and You tours. And at the Treasures and You store, reef-safe sunscreen and reusable tote bags are available for purchase.
Most importantly, no single-use plastics are used during Dolphins and You tours. The crew serves water and lemonade in paper cups (without straws), and our famous taro burgers are served in foil.
Now And You Creations can add reusable, eco-friendly straws to its list of sustainability efforts.
Who is Arlie ?
Arlie Pemberton is a glass artist based in Kailua, Oahu. Her business – Arlie Glass – features jewelry and home goods like dishes, glasses and straws. Arlie’s products are available for purchase online and in retail stores nationwide, as well as in Oahu stores Fishcake and Island Bungalow. National publications like Southern Living and Good HouseKeeping have published her creations. She is a passionate advocate for eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
Straw photo and portrait courtesy of arlie-glass.com.