VESTAL, N.Y. -- 500 million.
That's the number of plastic straws used by Americans on a daily basis. Experts say oceans are now becoming more and more polluted.
"Anything that you use here that's disposable with this many numbers is going to be hugely impactful," said Chris Harasta, Binghamton University MarketPlace Retail Manager.
But one school in Broome County is hoping to stop that trend.
Binghamton University recently banned single-use plastic straws from its MarketPlace.
All drink cups are also now served with biodegradable tops.
"We've had huge support for this. The students are really behind it. We've seen that our plastic waste has gone down. It's been a really easy transition," said Harasta.
Of course at times, going without a straw simply isn't possible; in that case, the university is still carrying paper straws for anyone who needs them.
"Straws aren't a convenience product for everybody, so we wanted to make sure that we still had these available if somebody needed a straw," said Harasta.
The staff at Binghamton University’s MarketPlace is now hoping their move inspires other organizations to do the same.
"I'm hoping that people can see that it isn’t a hard change to make, and you’re not going to be put up on a pedestal of negativity for making this change. You will have customer support for making this change if you decide to do so," said Harasta.
Thousands of students typically purchase drinks in the MarketPlace each day, which could add up to a big win for the environment.
It's estimated that eight million tons of plastic flows into the ocean every year.