I looked at the FBI’s Most Wanted List this week. And there it was. The Plastic Straw.
Asking for a straw these days, is like the kiss of death. A criminal offense. Some restaurants are even taking the customers out back behind the building and giving them the firing squad.
Sure. I understand the implications of the plastic straw. There is the viral video of a team of researchers, in Costa Rica, pulling a straw from the nose of a Sea Turtle. Simply put, it is horrible to watch.
But straws are only the tip of the plastic iceberg. Here are some figures for you. Looking back at 2015 — plastic consumption worldwide totaled 300 million metric tonnes.
So here’s how that plays out. There are 7.6 billion humans here on earth. So for each one of us, we are making 88 pounds of plastic a year.
The packaging industry is still growing in a very big way, with flexible plastics leading the surge. There is a huge debate about straws.
Some environmentalists say we have to start somewhere. And the straw is as good as any place to start.
Other environmentalists report that the “new solutions” to replace the straws are worse than the actual straws. Like Starbuck’s Sippy-Lids.
There is a smart guy from Greenpeace. His name is John Hocevar, and he is the ocean campaigns director for Greenpeace. He says this. “We can’t solve the plastic pollution crisis by substituting one kind of unnecessary single-use plastic with another.”
That is what I just said, but I wanted someone with some weight to back me up here.
For me, it is a two-sided coin. I want to save the world by not sucking through a straw. Yet, I have this thing.
Growing up, I never had a sensitivity to cold. But in my middle-aged adult life, it seems my body has developed an allergy to everything cold. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes.
I have Raynaud’s Syndrome for one. I know. That does not have a thing to do with straws. I’m just whining a little bit right now.
The second tier of this is my teeth. I got braces as an adult. And when the braces came off, my chompers waged an all-out war against the world of ice. If a piece of ice clanks my teeth, I have a full-body surge of electric shock. I drop right out of the booth, fall on to the floor, and convulse. For at least five minutes. Going out to dinner with me can be a real drag, I’ll tell you.
So. I have three options — I either need no ice, or use some sort of straw, or I don’t drink.
When you ask for “No Ice” at some restaurants, the Waitron looks at you like you are slaughtering baby seals underneath the table or something.
The crisis continues and so does the debate.
My only suggestion is that we, the people, make our own commitments. We do what we can on a personal level to reduce our waste.
I say this, as I squirted the gel for my hair from a plastic tube, poured my morning juice from a plastic bottle, did a load of laundry with detergent from a plastic jug, washed the dishes with soap from a plastic bottle….
“I have discovered with advancing years that few things are entirely black or white, but more often different shades of grey.”
― Jeffrey Archer, A Prisoner of Birth
“Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.”
― George Orwell
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela