When it comes to pollution, it can be difficult to imagine how any one individual’s efforts can make a difference. But in the case of disposable plastics, activists insist that every choice carries weight.

Are straws the new plastic bags?

They’re the latest single-use plastic item getting increased attention as an unnecessary (for most people) tool that too often ends up clogging waterways, seas, and beaches.

A video that went viral in 2015 of a sea turtle getting a bloody straw removed from its nostril helped spur some of the growing momentum to ban or limit plastic straws in many cities, states, countries, and businesses.

But while straws are the current target of some legislative action, scientists and environmental activists caution that – with 8 million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean from land every year, the equivalent of one dump truck of plastic entering the ocean each minute – any real solution is going to take a combination of efforts.