Paper Straws: Suck it up.

Paper Straws: Suck it up.

Paper straws recycling


We are all now environmentalists. It seems to have happened fairly quickly. I think the kids marching was the final straw. The evidence of the damage we humans have done and continues to do is all around us. We care about the next generation. We are now ready to change our ways. A famous song from a disgraced artist comes to mind. We’ve had a chat with the man in the mirror. Or so it would seem. It feels good to tweet support for climate action. It even feels good to vote Green. Don’t touch our plastic straws though.

Recent news stories that MacDonald’s paper straws are not recyclable at present led to an outpouring of guffaws. There had been numerous petitions calling for the reintroduction of plastic straws before this. Some brave souls even admitted their longing on social media. The recycling story gave the rest of them the cover they needed. Bring back the plastic. The new leaf didn’t survive the first test very well.

It is always wise to beware the popular headline. Headlines are designed to attract readers or buyers. They will happily tell you what you want to hear. The devil is in the detail. Plastic straws are supposedly recyclable but many were not ever recycled. They ended up in landfill or worse, some poor whale’s gut. Plastic straws take hundreds of years to degrade. They are bad news. The best alternative would be your mouth. You know, like drinking straight from the cup. Wouldn’t kill you. Failing that, paper straws are the next best option. Even if not recyclable, they will be fully degraded in a few months. It’s a no brainer.

8.5 Billion Plastic straws were being thrown away in the U.K. according to one study. Think about the scale of that. Action like this will make a difference. Like the vast majority of things that truly make a difference, we will feel the effects. It will be a sacrifice. It’s like the difference between sharing a charity’s details on Facebook and actually giving them money. We’ve just been sharing information on climate change without actually doing anything. It’s time that changed.

If you think having to suck on a mushy straw is bad then next few years are going to be tough going. Plastic straws have to be only the start. Deep down the vast majority of us know this. We have gotten far too comfortable with ultra-convenience. Wet wipes are an environmental disaster. Plastic wrapping on food and products are also on the radar. Food and products shipped from all over the world is an other obvious luxury. There is much to do. Ignore the headlines, think of the future and suck it up.



Photo Credit HERE.


Greta Thunberg.

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