Can steel straws save turtles in Guam's waters? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Can steel straws save turtles in Guam's waters?

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Replacing plastic straws is the new eco-trend. Members of the University of Guam's Sea Grant Program are helping students make the switch, recently giving away, for free, 500 reusable straws.

It's a picture of a sea turtle in pain.  Josefa Munoz said, "A student from the Sea Grant Program in Texas, found a straw lodged in a sea turtle's nose, and so these little things are what should initiate a change." It's a change that Munoz, a sea turtle researcher with UOG Sea Grant, says starts with re-using straws made of stainless steel. She's one of many who' made the switch to recyclable utensils.

"For me, I won't grab a coffee unless I have my reusable cup or my reusable straw," she continued. "It's important that we take this little steps and include these habits, such as using the reusable straw to giving them a better livelihood 46  you know less plastic in our ocean means that our coral reefs are healthier, our fish are healthier as well, and of course our sea turtles."

Keeping oceans clean also sustains livelihoods says Raymond Shinohara, a Research assistant at Sea Grant who also helped give away 500 reusable straws. "The more you use it the more you'll be conscious of your stainless steel straw people have cases, cleaners for their straw now," he told KUAM News. "There's a lot of people who still live off the land and the ocean and by reducing the use of plastics we can maintain our ecosystem so we can have more fish in the environment we live in."

With an islandwide plastic ban just two years away, UOG's student government President Evander De Guzman says students are leading the way for a greener Guam. "The students here always have a major impact for our future. It's better to start off with a better green environment like promoting these straws and going plastic bag free and all that good stuff," he shared.

Unlike other social media crazes, Munoz hopes this think green craze sticks. "Let's not just make it a trend let's make it a staying habit," he said.

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