When we’ve only been given just over a decade to start saving our planet, you’d think we’d be beyond a “war” against plastic straws, particularly when they make up a minuscule percentage of the insane amount of plastics we use. However, modern-day capitalism seeks opportunity even from global warning and will make you believe that yes, by using an overpriced bamboo straw, you are saving the planet because hey, “we need to start from somewhere”, right?

Image Source: https://www.ft.com/content/be1461ec-7718-11e9-bbad-7c18c0ea0201

The notion on straws can only be described as bizarre, reducing all types of single-use plastics would be beneficial, there are literal seas of plastic out there, so why is the focus on straws? Our birthday celebrations are more likely to cause harm to the environment than straws are. It’s been put out there that balloons are a real threat to our environment. A ban on balloons was proposed in Canada in 2017, only to be rejected and now in 2019, the entire world is ready to ban straws (?) Our able-bodied privilege tends to forget that there are people out there in the world who need plastic straws to drink, alternatives are either too hard, or too expensive, they can’t function without them, but apparently the general public can’t bear to think about a world without balloon bouquets.

We need to stop blaming consumers and start ensuring that the producers of these plastics are held accountable. “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR is a policy approach that means producers are held responsible for the disposal of their products). If their products are polluting the ocean – they are to blame. They have the responsibility of ensuring that their products are disposed of in such a manner that it does not harm the planet – they’ll work harder and rather than opt for cheap packaging, will invest and implement products that are environmentally friendly.

This entire eco-capitalist frenzy that benefits pocket more than it does the planet detracts from the fact that we are past “we need to start from somewhere”, we are beyond “selfless” acts such as taking bags full of unwanted clothes to then be unwanted by everyone else too. It’s time to switch up big time, end fracking, stop fast fashion, restore natural environments, invest in a clean and climate-conscious economy, hold who’s actually responsible– to do this we need the people in power to take us seriously, we need to become active and we need to get political.

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