2019 saw an increase in the use of paper straws. I have come to loathe paper straws. Like really… you either have to drink your drink at lightning speed or you end up with a mushy “straw” that you can’t drink out of! It just puts me off bothering to try and finish what I’m drinking. I’m not going to battle a lump of paper mache to which I always lose. I pity people who end up on a date with a mushy straw. It cannot be cute trying to slurp your drink. Let’s not forget the bits of paper you might have stuck with in your mouth. Not cute or sexy. Awful. Just awful.
I must note that this was literally keeping me out of sleep last night because I was thinking about it too much.(Yes, I’m a weirdo like that) I know there are some of you out there who have experienced the “can’t fall asleep because I’m thinking too much”. I got up and started writing down my thoughts and did some research about it.
I must say that one of my dear friends Taz gave me a journal last year. Perfect timing and a nudge to start journaling. I found that if I was overthinking like last night, if I wrote it down my thoughts were noted and I didn’t need to continue rehashing ideas. I’ve come to love journalling. Especially if I have a million thoughts flooding my mind which happens all the time. It helps me focus.
Now before you freakout about the fact that it’s for the environment, let me tell you that I’m all for saving the environment but there are some problems with this whole paper straw thing. I have to say whoever revived this (the original straw was made from paper) is one smart person! Genius even. Rich for sure.
What gets me is that you are giving me a paper straw to use in my big PLASTIC CUP AND LID! This just boggles my mind! How about a PAPER CUP? Like I said I’m all for supporting the environment but this seems to be a craze. Someone’s getting rich while the rest of us can’t finish our smoothies.
We made great strides with plastic shopping bags. It made total sense. So much pollution from these bags and obviously being plastic, they take 10 to 100 years to breakdown. In doing research on this article I found two very interesting things about some everyday items.
- We use water bottles all the time. You see it wherever you go. Did you know it takes 450 to 1000 years to break that down??? Insane! There should be a bigger drive to tackle this problem.
- Did you know that those little yoghurts we have and pack in for the little ones for school takes 100 to 500 years to break down?? Imagine that! Here’s a little anecdote about it.
I read an article that had a great infographic on how long certain plastics take to break down and the list might shock you. Perhaps have a look at the table before continuing reading.
The article with the infographic:
Shocker right! There are so many things other than straws that we should be trying to tackle. Things that have a worse effect on the environment. I’m not saying let’s not solve the straw problem, what I am saying is “Let’s prioritise”. Sandwich bags take 500 to 1000 years to degrade. Why not start a drive encouraging using brown paper bags? Just one of my suggestions.
Personally I make sure I reuse plastic. I buy alot of food at Woolworths. I don’t throw away the containers. I reuse them. So if you come to my house you will find lots or Woolworths plastic packaging. There are lots of ways we can do our bit. The paper straw craze is just daft when I compare it to what we did with tackling the overuse of plastic bags.
Paper Straws were the very first patented straws by Marvin Stone. They were patented in 1888 so this is not some new genius idea. We’re just going back to how old Marvin did it back in 1888. Yet someone, somewhere made a killing off of reviving Marvin Stone’s original idea for a straw. Think I need to go scratching around in history for things to revive!
I’ve been checking out alternatives to these straws. Some people are actually using pasta straws. I thought this was a cool idea. There are also plastic reusable straws as well as metal straws. So what does this mean for those of us who hate using paper straws, especially since we have no say in which we prefer? Carry straws with you. I know. It sounds completely ridiculous but that is basically what we are encouraged to do. So before you leave home folks… Got my purse ✔ Got my money ✔ Got my phone✔ Got my keys✔ Got my straws✔. Starting to sound kinda crazy right?
Also I am a germaphobe because I am and because I have to be because I am on chemo tablets daily that suppresses my immune system. Boy will I be bleaching those damn straws. I’ll probably end up ill from too much bleach consumption. I am taking no chances. Soaking in bleach and scrubbing with pipe cleaners and baby bottle brushes!! I’m just picturing myself going through the security at the airport and being stopped with my metal straws. “What is this?? Is this to kill people? What you do with things like this??? No, no we must confiscate because you can kill people!”
Anyway that’s my 2 cents on these paper mache ‘straws’. I will continue doing my bit for the environment by reusing plastic etc. I will however be using my activism energy against other plastics…. not straws. For now I surrender. I will bring my own damn straws. Have you seen how much crap I have in my bag? Meh… what’s a little more right?? Here’s a few more stats to look at to help you with changing your behaviours. I urge you to continue reading into it and finding ways you can make a difference!
If you have ideas or things you do please feel free to comment and share with the rest of us. I believe we all want to make a change. Find a way you can help. So check out the stats and see if there is something you are personally going to try to be better at. *sips from metal straw*
ONE EARTH! ONE LOVE!