- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - Shedd Aquarium is celebrating Earth Day by challenging Chicagoans to remove single-use plastic straws from everyday life.

The aquarium announced their “Shedd the straw” campaign ahead of the April 22 holiday to inspire the public to reduce the amount of plastic that winds up in oceans, lakes and rivers.

Americans use an estimated 500 million straws each day. The aquarium says that total weighs as much as 1,000 cars.

Such straws are made from a petroleum byproduct and do not biodegrade naturally. This makes them nearly impossible to recycle and puts sea creatures at risk.

Illinois residents can visit the Shedd Aquarium’s original galleries for free on Earth Day.

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