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Stop Feeling Guilty For Using Plastic Straws

Save the turtles!

It all began with a heart-wrenching viral video of a plastic straw stuck in a turtle's nose on social media.

Before that, there had been news of how long it takes plastic to decompose, approximately 450 years.

Plastic was invented 155 years ago, every piece of plastic ever created still exists, maybe floating in the wind, or the ocean, or burnt on land.

Burning plastic sounds like a good idea to get rid of it until the greenhouse gases are released and contribute to global warming.

Why do we blame everyday people for the existence of plastic?

Why do we shame people for choosing to use something that has made their lives easier?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not pro-plastic, I'm anti-shaming consumers who have been accustomed to using plastic straws for so long and are not presented with affordable and accessible alternatives.

Why don't we blame and shame the villains, the ones who continue to manufacture plastic?

Scratch that.

Once upon a time, they were the heroes who invented plastic as a substitute for natural ivory, obtained through the slaughter of wild elephants.

Biodiversity was threatened.

Now, Climate change is a threat.

Either way, it is a loss.

Either way, our planet dies.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Somehow the pitchforks are raised against everyday consumers.

The irony.

We would not need to reduce our use of plastic if the supply is cut short, or better yet we are given an alternative.

They ask us to reuse plastic as if that will somehow make it disappear.

And now we have social media influencers convincing us buying food in plastic packaging and transferring them to glass containers is environmentally friendly.

Who are they deceiving? It does not make the piece of plastic disappear or decompose.

As of 2018, only 8.7% of all plastics ever produced have been recycled according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


How about making plastic straw alternatives more accessible, durable, versatile, and affordable?

Metal straws are cool when you drink a cold smoothie with one and it is sensitive on your lips.

Glass straws are fun. God forbid it breaks in the hands of an innocent child.

If you ever want to know what wood tastes like, try drinking from a bamboo straw.

I will like to point out that I speak of the cons of these alternatives because they have failed to supersede plastic straws.

Nevertheless, I emphasize the importance of research and innovation for plastic alternatives. Now more than ever we need to support our environment. We need a replacement for plastic, one that doesn’t solve an environmental problem whilst creating another for the future.

A viable relief while saving our home, the earth.


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