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"Straws are not that big a deal, you know?"

Posted by Melissa Lam on

Taadaah - the little thing that a good portion of my waking hours revolves around.

Bamboo Straw in Grove

I get this a lot: "Straws are not as big an environmental problem as other things you know."

Yup, I'm well aware that straws are not the biggest contributor to environmental damage. Plastic straws are only a tiny percentage of marine trash / waste stream in general but it has become somewhat the poster child of trash because as probably the smallest single use plastic item, it does cause significant damage that is very visual. I think any plogger / beach clean up volunteer would have you know that it is the smallest bits that end up posing the most danger - #microplastics! (Plastics do not break down for potentially hundreds of years, so small pieces can be "ingested and incorporated into, and accumulated in, the bodies and tissues of many organisms".)

My idea with the bamboo straw is to get people talking and rallying against single use plastics in general. I have chosen the straw as a lighthearted way to start serious conversations.

One straw is "nothing", except for the one that kills an animal. One water bottle "won't matter", until a million people think that way too.

There are bigger things to look at (systems, policies, broad things like that) but that doesn't discount the importance of individual actions. Every action counts and when more individuals care, companies and governments have to listen. My purpose isn't to simply ban straws. A straw ban won't be a mission accomplished. Of course there is so much more, and it starts with us ;) 


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