Author Topic: Straws are now evil?  (Read 3170 times)

Pizzabrewer

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Straws are now evil?
« on: August 02, 2018, 08:48:19 PM »
I'm generally left of center on the political spectrum but even I think the new hatred for plastic straws is more than a bit ridiculous.  I can't imagine straws account for more than a tiny portion of the plastic waste generated in this country.  And, in my place of employment (where straws are now severely restricted), 100% of used straws end up in a landfill instead of the ocean.  Focusing energy on straws is wasteful and likely counter-productive.

px4shooter

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 08:50:57 PM »
Very weird. Straws are evil, but the streets littered with used needles and feces are ok.

the_gastropod

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 09:06:07 PM »
I struggle with this one. There are undeniably bigger fish to fry in the unnecessary single-use plastic world (grocery bags, plastic bottles, etc.), but isn’t this ultimately a small step in the right direction?

Johnez

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2018, 09:22:11 PM »
It's easy to latch on to crap like this. Addressing the overall issue is laborious and boring. Who wants to actually cut consumption when all ya have to do is stop using straws? Effing dumb. Starbucks cups everywhere but ban straws-ok! Way to save the environment lol. How bout lets cut out the frappuccinos. The trip. The cup. The whole damn thing. It's more green washing. Companies get to look good, their bottom line isn't affected negatively. Win/win!

ncornilsen

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 09:51:48 PM »
It's easy to latch on to crap like this. Addressing the overall issue is laborious and boring. Who wants to actually cut consumption when all ya have to do is stop using straws? Effing dumb. Starbucks cups everywhere but ban straws-ok! Way to save the environment lol. How bout lets cut out the frappuccinos. The trip. The cup. The whole damn thing. It's more green washing. Companies get to look good, their bottom line isn't affected negatively. Win/win!

Especially when the 'straw free' lid they use has more plastic in it than the straw/plastic combo they used to use.


MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2018, 11:35:37 PM »
Reminds me of childhood when we thought cutting the six pack rings was doing something.

marty998

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2018, 11:57:55 PM »
You people disappoint me. What possible benefit can be gained from you guys poo-pooing something that is good for the environment?

So what if it's only straws?

Straws, plus the six pack rings, plus plastic bags, plus disposable coffee cups plus..... it all adds up.

And if it has to be tackled one item at a time so be it. Because the alternative of a blanket ban on everything certainly won't work.

This blog is partly about individuals doing something for the environment. Shoot yourselves with an optimism gun and get on board.

Telecaster

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2018, 12:00:48 AM »
Very weird. Straws are evil, but the streets littered with used needles and feces are ok.

Who says streets littered with used needles and feces are ok?

Polaria

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2018, 12:30:33 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wH878t78bw
Warning: you'll see a turtle suffering.

The same way plastic bags or plastic micro-balls used in cosmetics are evil.

MasterStache

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2018, 06:06:17 AM »
You people disappoint me. What possible benefit can be gained from you guys poo-pooing something that is good for the environment?

So what if it's only straws?

Straws, plus the six pack rings, plus plastic bags, plus disposable coffee cups plus..... it all adds up.

And if it has to be tackled one item at a time so be it. Because the alternative of a blanket ban on everything certainly won't work.

This blog is partly about individuals doing something for the environment. Shoot yourselves with an optimism gun and get on board.

+1

golden1

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2018, 06:30:21 AM »
100% agree with this.  This is just about the dumbest way imaginable to try to be environmentally conscious. 

This is mostly virtue signaling for people who really don’t want to make any real changes to their environmental footprint.  It seems like it might have been designed by the right wing in order to inflame the culture wars.  The backlash to this has already started.  It is just going to piss people off and make the general public less friendly to the environmental movement. 

Like the person upthread said, stop buying Starbucks altogether.  Stop buying new clothes and new cars when you don’t need them.  Stop living in enormous houses. 

Dabnasty

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2018, 06:57:53 AM »
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/plastic-straws-ocean-trash-environment/

The problem with straws isn't just the volume of plastic waste, it's the fact that straws are so small, people tend to be less responsible with them. They're much more likely to miss the trash can and too small to be worth recycling. On top of that they cause problems for lots of wildlife, the turtle was just one example.

That said, I don't think the naysayers are entirely wrong. Little steps like this can make people feel good about the resources they still waste. The National Geographic article I linked mentioned several times that straws are "unnecessary" but that's just a matter of opinion. In my opinion the disposable cup, the stirrers, the tiny single serving packets, the sugar syrups, and even the drink itself are unnecessary; perhaps even damaging to society in that they make it harder for people to save money. I get what they mean, the straw adds very little enjoyment to the experience, but that's entirely subjective. So what's the right way to do it? People are turned off by small steps but completely resistant to big changes.

And yes, the timing isn't great with so many people looking for reasons to mock environmentalists. For a lot of people, they'll see it as people fussing at them for using straws and they'll say "We've been using straws for years, and now it's suddenly a problem, sheesh". Which of course, no, it's always been a problem, we're just recognizing it now. But those same people aren't likely to read articles like this one and they'll move forward in life thinking those damn environmentalists want to take away everything fun. Well, no. What they really want is to save the human species from destroying itself over tiny little widgets that bring us no lasting happiness but, you know, perspective.

Papa bear

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Straws are now evil?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2018, 07:37:19 AM »
Wtf! Oh my gawd! When will this ridiculous government overreach end!?!? Straws? Now it's plastic disposable straws?!? 

I'm still trying to figure out how I could possibly use hairspray without CFC's. Or get rid of bugs without my DDT.

And my white paint just hasn't looked the same since they removed that lead.  And come to think of it, my car doesn't drive as well with unleaded gas.

And my insulation just doesn't work as well without all that asbestos.

Guess I can't find any alternative to a disposable plastic straw...  there must not be anything I can do. Down with our government overlords!




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GuitarStv

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2018, 07:43:18 AM »
People don't give a shit about the environment.

The majority of people flat out refuse to drive fuel efficient vehicles or even consider alternative transportation.  Hell, a not insignificant percentage of the population modifies their big pickup trucks to spew black clouds of smoke into the air simply because they think it's funny.  It's a fucking battle to convince folks to use less air conditioning or to waste less water.  Even things that have no negatives and save people lots of money like banning incandescent light bulbs is met with people bitching about government overreach and stockpiling decades worth of older light bulbs in their closets.  Nobody can be bothered to sort their garbage, or separate compost from recycling.  And let's not even mention consumption habits . . . which are totally off limits to discuss. 

So, environmentalists set their sights really, really small.  Something tiny, that won't make an appreciable difference to anyone's life.  Plastic fucking straws.  And then they get flak because it's just not enough to make a dent in the environmental crisis we have been creating for ourselves for years.

It's not enough because collectively we have said that we won't stand for any kind of big change.  We won't stand for any kind of medium change.  Now are we really going to say that we won't stand for any tiny change too?  FFS.

oldmannickels

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2018, 07:47:33 AM »
They will have to pry these straws from my cold dead hands.

acroy

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2018, 07:53:17 AM »
........... I think the new hatred for plastic straws is more than a bit ridiculous..... Focusing energy on straws is wasteful and likely counter-productive.

ah-men!
100% agree with this.  This is just about the dumbest way imaginable to try to be environmentally conscious. 

This is mostly virtue signaling for people who really don’t want to make any real changes to their environmental footprint. It seems like it might have been designed by the right wing .............
Like the person upthread said, stop buying Starbucks altogether.  Stop buying new clothes and new cars when you don’t need them.  Stop living in enormous houses. 
wuutt??? take off the tinfoil hat, recycle it in a responsible manner

People don't give a shit about the environment.
Your contempt towards your fellow man is... disturbing.

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2018, 08:13:58 AM »
Why straws? For one, they are unnecessary in 99% of use (few exceptions for handicap folks). Despite being unnecessary, restaurants hand them hold with every beverage as if we are unable to lift a cup an extra five inches to our mouth. How did our great grandparents manage to hydrate themselves without small pieces of disposable plastic!?

Secondly, banning plastic straws is a way to get folks thinking about all the other single-use disposable crap in our lives and maybe give a second's thought as to whether we really need these items and is any value they provide worth the environmental cost.

Lastly, straws are not recyclable, are small, and very often end up in storm drains, and ultimately the ocean.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2018, 08:23:39 AM »
You people disappoint me. What possible benefit can be gained from you guys poo-pooing something that is good for the environment?

So what if it's only straws?


Its been posted here the concern is if no straw drives one to use the coffee cup style sippy top, that is actual more plastic being thrown away.

Besides, since most people on this board aren't really eating out very much, so its all theoretical right?

MasterStache

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2018, 08:32:56 AM »
wuutt??? take off the tinfoil hat, recycle it in a responsible manner

Plastic straws are not readily recyclable in a majority of municipalities (including my own). The largest American plaster recycler doesn't even accept straws. Educate yourself.

Quote
People don't give a shit about the environment.
Your contempt towards your fellow man is... disturbing.

I think GuitarStv is spot on! In the grand scheme of things, there is  a vast difference between claiming to care and showing you care. The contempt in this thread (including by you) for criticizing a move to ban mostly non-recyclable plastics is a great example.

the_gastropod

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2018, 08:40:40 AM »
Its been posted here the concern is if no straw drives one to use the coffee cup style sippy top, that is actual more plastic being thrown away.

Besides, since most people on this board aren't really eating out very much, so its all theoretical right?

I assume you're talking about the new Starbucks lids. While it's true these lids have more plastic than the straws they're replacing, the lids are 100% recyclable. Straws are not. So... it's still not a great improvement, but it's an improvement, nonetheless.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2018, 08:56:06 AM »
You people disappoint me. What possible benefit can be gained from you guys poo-pooing something that is good for the environment?

So what if it's only straws?

Straws, plus the six pack rings, plus plastic bags, plus disposable coffee cups plus..... it all adds up.

And if it has to be tackled one item at a time so be it. Because the alternative of a blanket ban on everything certainly won't work.

This blog is partly about individuals doing something for the environment. Shoot yourselves with an optimism gun and get on board.


So, environmentalists set their sights really, really small.  Something tiny, that won't make an appreciable difference to anyone's life.  Plastic fucking straws.  And then they get flak because it's just not enough to make a dent in the environmental crisis we have been creating for ourselves for years.

It's not enough because collectively we have said that we won't stand for any kind of big change.  We won't stand for any kind of medium change.  Now are we really going to say that we won't stand for any tiny change too?  FFS.

I appreciate y'all's passion but none of this applies to me.  I'm on board with doing the right thing.  My problem is the "small ball" nature of this.  It's not going to make a dent in the problem and only makes environmentalists look foolish. 

Big changes should be the target.  There's nothing wrong with pointing out small things (hey, maybe you should consider drinking that Slurpee without a straw) but it's counter-productive to make such a big deal out of something so minor.

NorthernBlitz

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2018, 09:02:08 AM »
You people disappoint me. What possible benefit can be gained from you guys poo-pooing something that is good for the environment?

So what if it's only staws?

Straws, plus the six pack rings, plus plastic bags, plus disposable coffee cups plus..... it all adds up.

And if it has to be tackled one item at a time so be it. Because the alternative of a blanket ban on everything certainly won't work.

This blog is partly about individuals doing something for the environment. Shoot yourselves with an optimism gun and get on board.

I haven't been using plastic straws since long before the current fad. Like most of us on here, I don't like financial or environmental waste.

But, I think the potential problem with campaigns like this is the danger of moral licensing.

I think the danger in things like this is that they are virtually meaningless, but they make people feel like they're doing something good. Then, they use that to excuse themselves from doing something bad later on. If the good is very small, I think it's likely that the result will be a net movement in the wrong direction (think: I went for a run today, so it's OK if I get a large Blizzard at DQ with extra topping...net calories is likely positive).


It's kind of like Earth Hour. Where I think people consume slightly less energy for an hour, then revert to their normal super-wasteful North American lifestyles for 8759 hours per year. They may even consume more as a reward for going without lights for an hour.

I think this was a good episode of Freakonomics talking about Moral Licensing.
http://freakonomics.com/podcast/corporate-social-responsibility/
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 09:04:28 AM by NorthernBlitz »

GuitarStv

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2018, 09:04:03 AM »
You people disappoint me. What possible benefit can be gained from you guys poo-pooing something that is good for the environment?

So what if it's only straws?

Straws, plus the six pack rings, plus plastic bags, plus disposable coffee cups plus..... it all adds up.

And if it has to be tackled one item at a time so be it. Because the alternative of a blanket ban on everything certainly won't work.

This blog is partly about individuals doing something for the environment. Shoot yourselves with an optimism gun and get on board.


So, environmentalists set their sights really, really small.  Something tiny, that won't make an appreciable difference to anyone's life.  Plastic fucking straws.  And then they get flak because it's just not enough to make a dent in the environmental crisis we have been creating for ourselves for years.

It's not enough because collectively we have said that we won't stand for any kind of big change.  We won't stand for any kind of medium change.  Now are we really going to say that we won't stand for any tiny change too?  FFS.

I appreciate y'all's passion but none of this applies to me.  I'm on board with doing the right thing.  My problem is the "small ball" nature of this.  It's not going to make a dent in the problem and only makes environmentalists look foolish. 

Big changes should be the target.  There's nothing wrong with pointing out small things (hey, maybe you should consider drinking that Slurpee without a straw) but it's counter-productive to make such a big deal out of something so minor.

I don't entirely disagree with you.  Big changes are necessary.  But point to something big that you think should be the target . . . that has the slightest chance of influencing the minds of the majority of people in your country.

Tell people not to eat meat any more?  Tell them to drive less, and use smaller cars?  Tell them to consume less?  Tell them to live in small apartments in cities?

Big changes are hard, and require a lot of commitment and effort.  Look at the pushback from incredibly tiny changes and then amplify it by orders of magnitude to get an idea of the uphill (and virtually certainly losing) battle you're proposing.  When you can't get people to give up on straws, what hope do you really have for the big things?

Dabnasty

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2018, 09:04:26 AM »
Its been posted here the concern is if no straw drives one to use the coffee cup style sippy top, that is actual more plastic being thrown away.

Besides, since most people on this board aren't really eating out very much, so its all theoretical right?

I assume you're talking about the new Starbucks lids. While it's true these lids have more plastic than the straws they're replacing, the lids are 100% recyclable. Straws are not. So... it's still not a great improvement, but it's an improvement, nonetheless.

Not to mention, this is one small example where the alternative uses more plastic. I couldn't find the numbers but I would think most plastic straws are used by fast food establishments, not coffee shops.

Fast food drinks are a little trickier as people often take them to go. Paper straws are the likely replacement for fast food as it's already being done by McDonalds and Burger King in some European countries.

Also consider, some of the anti straw campaign is aimed at asking businesses not to automatically hand out straws with every drink. From my perspective, when I eat at a restaurant the server brings me water and sets a little piece of trash next to it. Sometimes I play with the trash or make bubbles in my drink, but usually it just sits there until the server comes back to throw it away. If they didn't hand them out automatically, I would never ask for one and I doubt most people would.

meghan88

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2018, 09:16:59 AM »
People don't give a shit about the environment.

Unfortunately, I agree 100% with GuitarStv.  The most critical thing I can think to say about that statement is that it's an over-broad generalization, but that doesn't make it any less true about the vast majority of people worldwide.  I remember reading a statement decades ago from a climate scientist that went something like this:  "Many of the billions of people in developing countries have never heard of climate change / global warming, but most of them have heard about refrigerators, and they all want one."

Looking to the government to legislate / regulate sounds like a great idea, except that you're never going to get everyone to agree, plus it costs lots of $$ to draft, enact, and enforce legislation.

And most people are either blind to "the tragedy of the commons" or they choose to ignore it, and are unwilling to change their own behaviour.  Look at some of the replies in this forum as an example.

IMO, I see GuitarStv's statement as a very unfortunate, but basically truthful, generalization.

pecunia

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2018, 09:18:47 AM »
Straws, huh?

The next straw I use could be the one that "breaks the camel's back."  Yes, I had to throw in that cliche.

It could finally be that the amount of plastic in the ocean is finally worth harvesting.  This will create a new industry both good for the environment and jobs.  All of that plastic in the ocean could be recycled into,.........more plastic.

I remember when the straws were paper.  Would paper straws be OK?  Is it going to get to the point where we have to bring our own re-usable straws?

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2018, 09:25:27 AM »
I don't see the problem. Paper straws exist and they work just fine.

People will forget about the outrage until next week's viral sensation.

Dabnasty

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2018, 09:29:45 AM »
I don't see the problem. Paper straws exist and they work just fine.

People will forget about the outrage until next week's viral sensation.

They cost more and they get soggy.

However if they become the standard manufacturing processes may improve, volumes increase, and prices come down. Perhaps chemists will find a better coating to help them hold up in liquid. I'm more in favor of just not using them, the same thing I would say about most consumer products.

FIRE@50

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2018, 09:42:59 AM »
I'm generally against things like banning straws and soda taxes. This latest push to ban straws has opened my eyes to how many straws I do use in my life and how wasteful they are. I have made a conscious effort to reduce my use of straws. I don't think the government should be mandating bans, but businesses and individuals should be working towards making the world a little better whenever possible.

For people that think recycling is the answer for everything, please remember that the slogan is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It is important to note the order of those words. Reduce your consumption first, Reuse something whenever possible, Recycling is your last resort.

Dabnasty

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2018, 09:44:53 AM »
You people disappoint me. What possible benefit can be gained from you guys poo-pooing something that is good for the environment?

So what if it's only straws?

Straws, plus the six pack rings, plus plastic bags, plus disposable coffee cups plus..... it all adds up.

And if it has to be tackled one item at a time so be it. Because the alternative of a blanket ban on everything certainly won't work.

This blog is partly about individuals doing something for the environment. Shoot yourselves with an optimism gun and get on board.


So, environmentalists set their sights really, really small.  Something tiny, that won't make an appreciable difference to anyone's life.  Plastic fucking straws.  And then they get flak because it's just not enough to make a dent in the environmental crisis we have been creating for ourselves for years.

It's not enough because collectively we have said that we won't stand for any kind of big change.  We won't stand for any kind of medium change.  Now are we really going to say that we won't stand for any tiny change too?  FFS.

I appreciate y'all's passion but none of this applies to me.  I'm on board with doing the right thing.  My problem is the "small ball" nature of this.  It's not going to make a dent in the problem and only makes environmentalists look foolish. 

Big changes should be the target.  There's nothing wrong with pointing out small things (hey, maybe you should consider drinking that Slurpee without a straw) but it's counter-productive to make such a big deal out of something so minor.

First, thank you for posting this topic. I pretty much agreed with your original post until it got me to do some more reading. Now I'm actually more in favor of the anti straw campaign.

While I agree with that last part "it's counter-productive to make such a big deal out of something so minor", I don't know what constitutes "a big deal". If anti straw advocates start shoving it down peoples' throats, talking down to straw users, or outright fussing at people who use them, that's counterproductive. Maybe that's happening, but I haven't seen it. What I have seen is a sudden increase of articles and petitions regarding straws, which is a product of the viral nature of anything that strikes strong emotion on the internet. The turtle video made people cringe and here we are.

So I guess what I'm asking, what is the appropriate size of a deal to make about straws? That's not meant to be snarky, I really do wonder what amount of attention something like this should get to be most effective. But even if we knew the answer, who decides when and where to push it? How do we control the size of the "deal" that's made over an issue?

Heywood57

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2018, 01:21:10 PM »
.

slow hand slow plan

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2018, 02:11:36 PM »
There are already alternatives and this will make more...which is good.

There are compostable straws, metal straws are what my family has used for years and i love them. They can stir up your drink (no need for a spoon) they was in the dishwasher etc... 99.99% of people do not even "need" a straw to begin with.

Slee_stack

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2018, 02:13:50 PM »
As above, its just a campaign to try to get people about single use disposable goods.

Why this is viewed negatively is beyond me.  Maybe it will work a little or maybe it won't.  Where's the harm in the effort?

Is there some huge opportunity cost that's being missed here?  If so, lets hear what could be a better campaign!!

jim555

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2018, 02:43:08 PM »
Don't get it.  Are 100s of thousand of straws stuffing all the landfills?

stoaX

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2018, 03:13:40 PM »

Fireball

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2018, 03:15:32 PM »
Don't get it.  Are 100s of thousand of straws stuffing all the landfills?

No, it's on the order of billions annually.  According be to the interwebs anyway.

mm1970

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2018, 03:28:32 PM »
https://www.nps.gov/articles/straw-free.htm

500 million in America alone, per day

Polluting the ocean.  Which we learn here, and our kids learn here, at the ocean.

https://www.strawlessocean.org/faq/

https://earth911.com/home/food-beverage/recycling-mystery-plastic-straws/

They pretty much aren't recyclable.

So, it's not just one straw.

Look, I know we are all Mustachian here, so we aren't likely the ones using 500 million straws per day.  I mean, how often do you eat out, drink out, etc?  BUT you add it all up, and it's significant.

I like to point out, and often, that I am capable of caring about MULTIPLE THINGS AT ONCE.

So, for some interesting discussion among our kind:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/plastic-free-july/

Last year, I read "Zero Waste Home" by Bea Johnson, and it really got me thinking.  Hm... I loaned out that book, need to get it back.

Take the amount of plastic we use...and multiply it by millions.  It's INSANE.

So we had the plastic bag ban. And now we're on the plastic straw ban. And I think if it gets people to THINK, then how can that be a bad thing?  Over the last several years, I've seen the number of people who take their own bags to the grocery store skyrocket.

Other things that I've been testing out/ doing (don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good):
- bake my own bread, because I can recycle or compost the paper bags that flour come in
- buy nuts, seeds, beans, rice, chocolate in bulk bins in my own containers or just keep reusing the bags
- buy loose produce (I get a delivery box)
- use reusable bags for produce
- drink water mostly
- use bar soap, bar shampoo

Things that are on the list of things to figure out
- how to avoid plastic bags for meat and cheese
- how to avoid plastic bags for tortillas and vegetables (I mean, I really don't want to make my own tortillas!)
- buying milk in paper (which is more recyclable than plastic) or glass bottles (that you return)

mm1970

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2018, 03:30:42 PM »
People don't give a shit about the environment.

The majority of people flat out refuse to drive fuel efficient vehicles or even consider alternative transportation.  Hell, a not insignificant percentage of the population modifies their big pickup trucks to spew black clouds of smoke into the air simply because they think it's funny.  It's a fucking battle to convince folks to use less air conditioning or to waste less water.  Even things that have no negatives and save people lots of money like banning incandescent light bulbs is met with people bitching about government overreach and stockpiling decades worth of older light bulbs in their closets.  Nobody can be bothered to sort their garbage, or separate compost from recycling.  And let's not even mention consumption habits . . . which are totally off limits to discuss. 

So, environmentalists set their sights really, really small.  Something tiny, that won't make an appreciable difference to anyone's life.  Plastic fucking straws.  And then they get flak because it's just not enough to make a dent in the environmental crisis we have been creating for ourselves for years.

It's not enough because collectively we have said that we won't stand for any kind of big change.  We won't stand for any kind of medium change.  Now are we really going to say that we won't stand for any tiny change too?  FFS.
+1

mm1970

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2018, 03:32:31 PM »
Its been posted here the concern is if no straw drives one to use the coffee cup style sippy top, that is actual more plastic being thrown away.

Besides, since most people on this board aren't really eating out very much, so its all theoretical right?

I assume you're talking about the new Starbucks lids. While it's true these lids have more plastic than the straws they're replacing, the lids are 100% recyclable. Straws are not. So... it's still not a great improvement, but it's an improvement, nonetheless.
Plastic generally is down-cycled, not recycled.  So, better but not awesome.

mm1970

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2018, 03:36:45 PM »
sorry to spam this topic, but this just came in my email

https://zerowastehome.com/2018/08/03/travel-and-zero-waste/

Samuel

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2018, 03:57:35 PM »
Holy hell. 500 million straws a day? I can't remember the last time I used a straw (not a soft drink drinker) so it's bizarre we can burn through 1.6 a day, on average.

I agree the emphasis on the first 2 parts of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" needs to be renewed. It's too easy for people to rationalize excessive consumption if you can toss the remains in a recycle bin rather than a garbage can and feel good about it.

Unfortunately the recycling industry is having huge profitability challenges right now and recyclable plastics are particularly worthless. A lot of what gets "recycled" ends up dumped in landfills anyways because the bulk prices have tanked and now there's no profitable way to recycle it.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/recycling-once-embraced-by-businesses-and-environmentalists-now-under-siege-1526209200

Laserjet3051

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2018, 04:49:36 PM »
Single use disposable plastic is evil. Plastic straws are just the poster child for this devil. Something needs to be done to reduce deposition of single use plastic into the waste stream. Straw boy is the current poster child, yesterday it was the bag. I'm sure you all realize how many millions of dollars the plastic industry spends on PR/propaganda/lobbying campaigns to support their profit margins?

It's a full on war, and somebody has got to do something. Change starts from within and each of us collectively is making a difference. But I fear that seemingly virtuous legislation on this (e.g. forced bans/penalties), and related matters, will get us absolutely nowhere.

Dabnasty

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2018, 08:58:43 PM »


It's really more a logistical problem of getting the spoon back to wash it, but I still like the picture.

Abe

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2018, 09:43:20 PM »
I don’t understand why an adult without certain specific disabilities needs a straw. Have we become just that lazy? Use some hand-eye coordination! It’s not hard! /rant

I think like without most campaigns 95% of people will forget this in a year, but even if 5% change their minds then it was worth it. Repeating this over and over will cause “awareness fatigue” in some, but get others to seriously reconsider how they use plastic. I know I am in the latter category.


MasterStache

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2018, 05:53:48 AM »
I don’t understand why an adult without certain specific disabilities needs a straw. Have we become just that lazy? Use some hand-eye coordination! It’s not hard! /rant

I think like without most campaigns 95% of people will forget this in a year, but even if 5% change their minds then it was worth it. Repeating this over and over will cause “awareness fatigue” in some, but get others to seriously reconsider how they use plastic. I know I am in the latter category.

Good points. I stopped using straws and even plastic lids long ago (for that matter plastic bags). In fact I bring my own drink for those rare drive-thru occasions. Took my daughter out to lunch yesterday and we ordered drinks. No lids or straws necessary.

craiglepaige

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2018, 07:28:50 AM »
You people disappoint me. What possible benefit can be gained from you guys poo-pooing something that is good for the environment?

So what if it's only straws?

Straws, plus the six pack rings, plus plastic bags, plus disposable coffee cups plus..... it all adds up.

And if it has to be tackled one item at a time so be it. Because the alternative of a blanket ban on everything certainly won't work.

This blog is partly about individuals doing something for the environment. Shoot yourselves with an optimism gun and get on board.

+1
+2

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2018, 10:44:49 AM »
It’s no accident Seattle is the first city to ban them. We live on the other side of the water from there, and our waterways are getting really polluted by plastic, among other things. Our orcas are dying out because of all the toxic trash created by not only us, but other poeple who aren’t experiencing the affects. My life is not impacted in any way by not getting a straw the rare times we eat out. And no one said you had to use Starbucks new lids; they have a reusable option.

Oh, wanted to add a comment because recycling was mentioned: China no longer wants our trash, so we need to get serious ourselves about reducing it. My understanding is we’ve got mountains building up right now with no where to go. I sadly do not believe we have the political or collective will do really change anything considering the resistance to the idea we are doing anything to create climate change. Maybe we should stop talking about that and just focus on how polluted everything is and how that affects human life on earth?

pecunia

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #47 on: August 05, 2018, 05:02:03 PM »

SNIPAROO

Oh, wanted to add a comment because recycling was mentioned: China no longer wants our trash, so we need to get serious ourselves about reducing it. My understanding is we’ve got mountains building up right now with no where to go. I sadly do not believe we have the political or collective will do really change anything considering the resistance to the idea we are doing anything to create climate change. Maybe we should stop talking about that and just focus on how polluted everything is and how that affects human life on earth?

Man - Doesn't all that plastic out there look like an unused resource?  Could we build houses or roads with the stuff?

marty998

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #48 on: August 05, 2018, 07:07:06 PM »
You can build roads with it (sorry this may be paywalled)

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/plastic-and-glass-road-that-could-help-solve-australia-s-waste-crisis-20180802-p4zv10.html

Quote
Sutherland Shire in southern Sydney is the first council in NSW to trial a plastic road following a similar Australia-first pilot in Hume City Council, in Melbourne’s outer north-west, in May this year.

The section of the highway, between Cooper Street and Engadine Avenue, will look identical to a traditional asphalt road.

But “Plastiphalt”, as the new material is known, will contain 176,000 plastic bags, 55,440 glass bottles and toner from 3960 used printer cartridges mixed with asphalt.


pecunia

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Re: Straws are now evil?
« Reply #49 on: August 05, 2018, 07:26:53 PM »
You can build roads with it (sorry this may be paywalled)

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/plastic-and-glass-road-that-could-help-solve-australia-s-waste-crisis-20180802-p4zv10.html

snip

But “Plastiphalt”, as the new material is known, will contain 176,000 plastic bags, 55,440 glass bottles and toner from 3960 used printer cartridges mixed with asphalt.


[/quote]

That's great!  They may have just created an export product that can be applied all over the world.  One blurb said they expect better longevity than a standard road.

I read the comments and noted that people were still worried that plastic will still enter the environment as the road wears down.  Judging by the fact that we use it to wrap almost any type of food, I can't see this being any worse than the asphalt.

Take that evil straws.