No One Cares About Your Metal Straws

Luke O'Connell, Editor in Chiefw

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     Throughout 2019, the use of metal straws has grown exponentially. In correlation with that, the trend of posting a photo of your new straw with a “quirky” caption along the lines of “Save the turtles!” has become incredibly popular. To be blunt, no one cares about your metal straws.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

     If you bought metal straws in order to help save the environment, that’s great. Don’t go around posting on your social media though. You could be spending that time doing other things to help stop the climate crisis, like protesting in the community, attending lectures regarding the issue, and recycling whenever you can. 

     Buying a metal straw is the least someone can do when it comes to climate action, and expecting gratification for it is totally unjust. Obviously, we cannot expect everyone to be totally altruistic all the time, and it’s a good thing that people are making an effort, but rather than stop there, people should try to do more. 

     Even if you are using a metal straw, you’re probably still putting it into a plastic or paper cups, many of which aren’t recyclable. Take Starbucks for example. Every year, people buying from Starbucks alone use four billion paper cups, which, in turn, causes the deforestation of 1.6 million trees each year. Though it is possible to recycle Starbucks paper cups,according to cleanwateraction.org, only four US cities actually do . This is because the single-use to go cups are lined with plastic, which is too much of a hassle for the vast majority of recyclers to take off.

     Purchasing these metal straws doesn’t do as much good as people think they do. The metal used stays in the environment for long periods of time just like plastic does, and are often bought online. In the process of shipping these online purchases, big companies like Amazon use nonrecyclable packaging and shipping methods which hurt the environment through fuel emissions. 

     Rather than buying metal straws and other reusable items from box stores, try to find stuff lying around your house or in second hand stores. Reusing old items rather than buying new, “eco-friendly” ones whenever possible is a much better solution.

     Again and again, big companies have lied to us about what they’re doing to stop climate change. It’s time to start looking for real solutions instead of ones that make you feel good. Stop using straws. Stop buying from big companies. Do everything in your power to stop climate change, and don’t go around posting about it while you do.