business

War on plastic leaves manufacturers clutching at straws

11 Comments
By Pierre Donadieu and Marie Heuclin

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11 Comments
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"The United States is resisting change while Europe takes the lead with biodegradable plastics made either from fossil fuels or crops such as potatoes and corn."

Not entirely true, my home, Seattle, USA, has just enacted a ban, effective July 1, on plastic straws and plastic utensils. Looks like Seattle is the only large city, though. While this ban has just started, it will be interesting to see how well it does. I also try to avoid unnecessary plastic myself at stores here in Japan by using my own eco bag, and I even bring my own tumbler when I go to Starbucks here. Unfortunately, I can't avoid it 100%.

http://komonews.com/news/local/seattle-to-ban-plastic-straws-utensils-at-all-eateries-after-july-1

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Unfortunately, it’s tajeb the world 50 years to wake up to the environmental disaster we know as ‘plastic’, but it’s already too late for the oceans.

Furthermore, even paper straws come at an environmental cost. The paper comes from tress and the bleached and dyes used in their manufacture also end up in the ocean.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

War on plastic

Now there's a way I will support. There's no reason for the endless use of styrofoam and plastic, except for covering food and drinks.

The paper comes from tress and the bleached and dyes used in their manufacture also end up in the ocean

I'm sure even third world nations have a filtering system, especially if they want to be ISO recognized.

You don't have to use trees, it's called recycled paper.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The crux of the problem is fishing nets and other debris, not drinking straws which are an infinitesimal part of the plastic garbage problem. But the straw thing is suddenly on trend without much thought for what impact the alternatives might have on the environment and businesses producing the straws. Jobs will be lost but that will only create another problem while not making a dent in solving the actual problem.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@FizzBit - I'm sure even third world nations have a filtering system, especially if they want to be ISO recognized.

Really? Which parallel universe are you living in? The majority of the PM2.5 pollution in China comes from paper and textile manufacture. And, the bright red rivers in China come from paper bleaching and dyeing. All of the corporations mentioned in this article will be sourcing their paper straws from China or third world countries that do not bother with ISO compliance. It's just a case of, "Robbing Peter to pay Paul."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

California banned single-use plastic bags a few years ago - it's now paper or my bag (or stuffing it in your pocket). Aside from the environment, I've always hated straws, finding them a particularly barbaric way to imbibe which passes the lips, the first source of taste sensory. The sooner they go, the better.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Some weeks ago I read a blog entry with links to a slew of “alternative” straw companies. Products were made from bamboo, paper, glass and more and it was quite interesting. Some were proudly Made in America. But I did find myself wondering if with overall bans on plastic could these alternative companies meet the demand? Also some juice pack manufactures say they must use plastic.

In any case, I’m thinking that in Japan, aside from some left by people snacking on the beach and a few that might end up in rivers, straws going into the ocean here is probably not a major problem.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Years ago we used to drink from glass bottles, or through paper straws in paper cups - then things went plastic. It would seem like we are coming full circle again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why don't people just drink normally without a straw.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why don't people just drink normally without a straw.

They do seem kind of pointless for anyone over the age of 4.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Erik - Yeah I read about Seattle...it is a good move! Straws are wasteful and as Laguna pointed out the use of a straw removes some of the sensory pleasure of drinking. The amount of plastic dumped into the oceans is insane. Better to just do away with them

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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