There has been a lot of talk in the UK about trying to reduce our single use plastics. And whilst I am happy that environmental issues are becoming more of a talking point in politics, mush of the proposed legislation is, lets just say, misguided. The main policy that the UK government is trying to put through is a ban on plastic straws.
The issue with a blanket ban on plastic straws is that they are vital to many in the disabled community. Plastic straws were first invented for the disabled community and, much like fidget spinners, were co-opted by the rest of society to the point where its become a problem. I’m not saying that plastic straws don’t pollute the environment because they do and I greatly urge everyone who doesn’t need to use them to stop using them. In fact if you want a good alternative to plastic straws then why not try our ‘Strawsome glass straws’ available in the living lighter store.
Now like I said, plastic straws do pollute the environment but there are plenty of other plastic products and other rubbish that do even more harm. In fact a recent study found that straws are the 8th most common type of rubbish found in the ocean/ environment in general. The products found more regularly include cigarettes, plastic bottles, plastic bags and food wrappers. In fact, volunteers from a recent costal cleanup said that they ‘found enough containers and food packaging for a person to get takeout for every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner, for the next 858 years!’
The take home message of this post I guess is that we can all find ways to reduce our waste, ways that don’t throw less abled people under the bus. Overall I think that we should all start looking at environmental activism and consciousness in the same way that the majority (I hope) of people look at vaccines. Everyone who is able to give up plastics and wasteful practices has to, so that those who can’t can still benefit.