Could It Be the Last Straw for Plastic Straws?
By Bee Wilson
Plastic drinking straws, I realized recently, are enmeshed with many of my fondest memories. When I was a child, a glass of lemonade with a straw was heaven. Drinking straws were also part of going to the movies, huddled in the dark with a giant, icy Diet Coke. In my 20s, I remember the thrill of sipping whiskey sours through one of those short, slender cocktail straws and feeling carefree and sophisticated.
It’s a shock to come to the realization that the straws we had fun with all those years were actually pointless and damaging. What were we thinking, allowing all these tiny pieces of plastic to be generated for beverages that are gone in minutes? Once discarded, millions of straws end up in the ocean, where some become lodged up the nostrils of sea turtles. As a recent article in these pages reported, straw maker Fuling Global estimates that U.S. consumers use 20 billion of the plastic contraptions a year.