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"No Straw, Please"

Your new resolution for Earth Day 2018?

Single-use plastics are today's plague: Vietnam generates 18000 tons of plastic waste every day! Think about your morning bánh mì that comes in a plastic bag or your takeaway bubble tea that comes with a plastic cup, a plastic cover, a plastic straw... all inside a plastic bag. They end up in the landfills - buried or burned - and in the oceans, leaking pollutants or being eaten by sea animals.

But enough! You've heard all of that a lot already - but as many people we met asked us; what are the solutions? The issue is huge - and going step by step is the key: why not start with saying no to plastic straws? Half of the time, we don't need a straw. We just take it because it's given. So changing your plastic straw habit can be a good start! And Vietnamese youth are already taking action.

Therefore, here a couple of things you can do to reduce your use of plastic straws.

1. Say no to plastic straws when you order a drink. The challenge is to think about it each time and to insist when they still want to give you a straw. Giang Nguyễn, from Nói Không Với Túi Nylon, shares her approach: "When I order a drink, I tell them that I won't pay if I see a straw in my glass". Efficient!

2. Use reusable straws if you really need one. Like metal, glass, grass, bamboo straws. You can find them with Sap Hang Chang Sen, Cua Hang 3T or Zero Waste Saigon.

3. Upcycle your plastic straws. If you forgot to say no to the plastic straw or really needed one, don't throw it away! You can do cool stuff with it, like baskets or music instruments!

4. Go to coffee shops that already said no to plastic straws. For example in Hanoi, we have: Hanoi Social Club, Joma Bakery & Cafe, Bluebird Nest, Reng Reng Cafe, Spacebar Coworking Cafe, etc.

5. Join communities and share your no plastic straw journey with them! Check out Nói Không Với Túi Nylon & Zero Waste Saigon :)

6. Spread the word and lead by example for your friends! You can also share this article <3

Happy Earth Day nhé,

The Learning Hub team

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