The war on straws, is it worth it?
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
We have all seen that heartbreaking video of Nemo's friend Crush with a straw stuck in his nose. If you haven't you can have a look at it below. Bear in mind that it is not for the faint of heart.
And no, this turtle does not just like to party too hard. According to Christine Figgener - a sea turtle expert at Texas A&M University in College Station Olive Ridley turtles are crustaceans eaters and usually feed on the ocean floor. Christine believes the turtle may have "slurped" up the straw while feeling. - A full story on this can be found in the following article written by National Geographic.
This controversial video started a massive push on the "war on plastic straws" as it went viral over countless social media platforms. Large companies such as McDonald's and Starbucks have started implementing a "no straw" policy along with many leading cities around the world banning them altogether. You can find a list of some major states and companies that have either banned or implemented steps into removing plastic straws by a company called Great paper straws.
Are there not bigger problems?
You may be asking yourself - surely there are bigger problems in the world than plastic straws - well, your not the only one. Green Matters wrote a detailed article on ocean trash and the effects of plastic in the ocean. In this they provide numbers from studies, stating that approximately 150 million metric tonnes of plastics are currently in the ocean ( that's more than 23 million full-grown elephants) and only 0.025% of that is plastic straws, which is still nearly 6 million elephants worth of straws.
Then why kick up all the fuss?
Looking at all the numbers it is hard to imagine why the world is so dedicated to eliminating plastic straws. The key point to realize in this "war" is that plastic straws are not the end goal. Of course, replacing plastic straws with stainless steel straws ones makes a huge difference but it is no where close to making an impact on the state of our world.The key to this push is to bring AWARENESS to people and their daily decisions. By cutting down on
consumerism naturally due to our everyday thoughts we automatically reduce our carbon footprint. We start making small changes in everything we do. Just like my piece 5 Simple steps to being eco-friendly many people can make their own difference. This does not only affect individuals but a mass amount of pressure gets put onto major corporations to do the same as the public changes the way they see the world.
So, in conclusion
Yes, the war on straws IS worth it, but it is not our saving grace. If we want to see a change we need to be the change. Not just by not using straws, but by making sure our everyday decisions are the best for our entire planet.