I know, I know. I have an unpopular opinion here. But just hear me out on this one.
Let me begin by saying that I am not against the elimination of plastic straws. However, straws are not what's causing the most harm to our oceans right now. And it goes beyond just oceans.
Let's put this into perspective. You go to Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts and order a cold beverage, such as an iced coffee. It comes in a plastic cup, with a plastic lid, and a plastic straw. Or, you stop at a Wawa or Sheetz, and get a bottled soda or water. With a plastic bottle with a plastic cap. Or when you shopping, at the grocery store, or a retail store, they give you your items after you check out. They're in a plastic bag.
Noticing a theme here?
Plastic straws produce the least amount of plastic pollution in our oceans by weight. According to Better Alternatives Now, plastic straws account for approximately 0.03% of all the plastic in our oceans, while plastic bags fall at 9% and plastic bottle caps at 13%.
We are, again, allowing our social media outlets to convince us of what is socially acceptable to advocate for. The plastic straw movement was sparked into action when a photo of a turtle with a straw circulated around social media. However, if that had been a photo of a plastic bag and a dolphin, the movement would have been different.
Again, I am not saying that banning plastic straws would be a bad thing. If we can eliminate 0.03% of plastic from our oceans, that would be great. However, why not aim for eliminating the 13% with bottle caps? If we're going to advocate for change, let's go big.
And this goes beyond just plastic straws. I'm talking about mental health services, health services, emergency services, educational services, and beyond. There's so much out there that could benefit our society today with a bit of change.
Go big or go home, right?