Recognize the power in your hands.
Where is "away" when something gets thrown away?
That's a valid question that should be considered - not only by consumers when selecting the items they buy and use; but especially for those in the sourcing, manufacturing and procurement industries, whose choices and decisions impacts the environment on a much greater scale.
An aware consumer may make the decision to refuse a plastic straw, while in one go, an aware procurement officer could make a decision of procuring 500,000 paper straws instead of plastic ones.
If you're a purchaser, procurement officer, manufacturer or a buyer, you are in fact in a unique position to protect the environment. All it takes is taking a moment to consider the more eco-friendly alternative material to what you are looking to produce.