For Decades, plastic straws have been essential props for cocktail makers, smoothie lovers and fast food addicts. But that maybe starting to change, thanks largely to vigorous environmental campaigning.

Under pressure from activists, the European Union, Britain and India and even fast food giants like McDonald's have all made some headway towards bringing the the use of plastic straws to an end.

And with public pressure growing on governments, particularly in Europe, to ban single use plastics, manufacturers are feeling the heat.

According to peer-reviewed US Science magazine, eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the Earth's oceans and seas each year - 250 kilogrammes [550 pounds] every second.

For years, the focus of environmentalists has been on plastic bags. But plastic straws have now come into the spotlight, thanks in part to images that have gone viral on the Internet.

Online video about the danger posed by seemingly innocuous straw shows a sea turtle rescued off  Costa Rica getting one removed from its nostrils.


The British government in April said it planned to ban the sale of  single-use  plastics including straws. The  European Union  followed suit in late May.

In India's commercial capital Mumbai, Burger King, McDonald's and Starbucks were fined for violating a ban on single use  plastics, an official said earlier in June.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to make the country free of  single use plastic by 2022.  Some corporations are also taking steps.

In the UK and Ireland, McDonald's has pledged to complete transition to  paper straws  by 2019.

In France, the burger giant is testing alternatives.  The  Hilton hotel giant in May in May vowed to remove  the offenders  from its  650 properties  by the end of 2018.

"Laid end to end, the straws saved each year in {Europe. the Middle East and Africa} would exceed the length of the  River Seine,'' the hotel chain said in a statement.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on the environment continues to Part 2.


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