Our Planet Earth

Good News

On July 9 Starbucks announced that it is phasing out plastic straws by 2020. They have already begun in some cities to use specially designed lids that eliminate the need for straws. They will roll out this design over the next two years while also offering paper straws. These alternatives, paper and other biodegradable materials for straws should be achieved more quickly if there was not a problem with supply.  See: https://crookedcreek.live/2018/07/02/saving-planet-earth/

While plastic straws do not make up a big percentage of plastic that ends up in our oceans, they are a hazard to wildlife and they are unnecessary. It is a start to reducing single-use plastic items and a way to make us more conscious of the problem of plastic waste on planet earth. We can do this: https://crookedcreek.live/2018/07/02/waste/

Other companies making changes to packaging include Dunkin Donuts which is phasing out all polystyrene over the next two years. Probably the largest, MacDonalds, is committed to reducing plastic materials too and has already begun in the UK and Ireland, planning to meet its zero goal over seven years. 

Some cities are outlawing plastic straws, too including Seattle and Ft. Meyers. Others are considering following suit, e.g., New York and San Francisco. This will make an immense impact. 

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We Can Do Better

Now if we could just get customers to stop idling cars in the drive-thru lanes and instead to park and walk inside, think of the air pollution that could be eliminated. A subject for another day perhaps. 

“Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill.” Stephen Hawking

 

Theme photo in title and graphic by Pixabay

Saving Planet Earth

Straws Again  

https://crookedcreek.live/2018/07/02/waste/

After writing Wasting Planet Earth posted earlier today, I read a comprehensive article in the Courier Journal (7/1/18) about plastic straws. The movement to eliminate these devices is picking up steam. There was even a report on broadcast news last night about the subject (NBC). 

In the CJ I learned that there is only one manufacturer of paper straws in all the United States. That company, Aardvark Straws in Fort Wayne, IN, cannot meet the demand so now many paper straws used in the US are from China. Aardvark’s natural cellulose product is both compostable and biodegradable. 

We have been using plastic straws since 1970 and they are a part of the eight billion tons of plastic we dump into the oceans each year! By 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the planet’s oceans than fish. We must do better.

Challenge

If you still are not convinced that these small cylinders of plastic that we suck on so cavalierly are a problem, I challenge you to watch all eight minutes of this YouTube video. If you are sensitive to coarse language you should watch without sound. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=4wH878t78bw

Thank You

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“Small Acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.” Howard Zinn 

 

Theme photo in title and graphic by Pixabay