Fresno State is aligning with many other California restaurants and food services by joining the #stopsucking movement to restrict plastic usage.
On Aug. 20, the University Dining Hall on campus posted over social media that there will no longer be plastic straws available for students, unless requested.
This restriction has gone into effect this fall semester at Fresno State but cities all over California, along with a few other states like New York and Hawaii, have likewise become participants for the ban of plastic straws and cutlery.
Among other universities joining this movement, Chico State has also gotten rid of all plastic straws on campus and replaced them with paper and stainless steel straw kits for students on campus to use. Out of state, the University of Portland and Dartmouth College have rid their campus of plastic straws and switched to paper replacements.
Taking the initiative to join this battle against plastic waste pollution, California lawmakers have been recognized as the first state to begin restriction of plastic straws.
But, in order to decrease the amount of plastic consumers create on a day-to-day basis, there needs to be some type of regulation at hand.
Starting off with something as small as a single straw can become the catalyst for change needed to begin the process of cleaning the air we breathe, clarifying the water we drink and purifying the ocean we swim in.
Over the past few years, it has become clear that there have been critical issues dealing with our environment and the forms of life that thrive in it. For example, marine life has been suffering greatly, along with the contamination of drinking water in various cities.
Again and again, we see these same type of events come up in social media of animals ingesting plastic waste or cities having to go days or weeks without filtered water.
The plastic — and what we do with it — is the problem, but nothing is being done to fix it. This isn’t something that happened out of the blue or something people didn’t see coming.
Slowly but surely, our actions over the past few decades have created consequences that will need to be addressed in the near future.
We fail to realize how much of an impact we create in our environment because of the waste thrown out on a weekly basis.
It’s not immediately affecting how most of us live our lives so we often forget how dangerous things are becoming, both for animals and us.
Recognizing how much the products we use can affect other forms of life is something society needs to understand and care more about.
Often we go through pounds and pounds of trash with no concern for where it will end up or how it will be disposed of.
The disconnect between individual and environment is something that needs to be seen as a relevant issue by lawmakers, major companies, and the public. Including universities in this movement to clean our cities and country can show everyone what simple reform looks like.
If we care about ourselves and our future, then we should also care about other forms of life we could be changing in negative or caustic ways.
This ban on plastic straws and cutlery in restaurants and food services can be the help environmentalists need to make us understand how we all can begin changing and how we are able to live fulfilling lives while protecting our surroundings and life within them.