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Up next, Tom Brady wants you to stop using plastic straws.
Starbucks says it plans to get rid of plastic straws.
Restaurants and coffee shops in DC may soon have to say goodbye to plastic straws.
It seems like everyone hates plastic straws all of a sudden.
Eight million tons plastic end up in the ocean each year and straws aren't even one percent of that.
So, why did campaigners, corporations, and governments all focus their efforts on straws? And why now?
Are we about to break up with the plastic straw once and for all?
Like any other relationship on the rocks, this one deserves some reflection.
The oldest straw we know about is 5,000 years old.
It was found in an ancient Sumerian tomb.
The next key moment in our relationship with the straw came in the 1880s courtesy of an inventor named Marvin Stone.
Stone liked to drink mint juleps, but was bothered by the straws.
They were made out of stocks of rye grass and sometimes they fell apart in your julep.
Stone found this unacceptable, so he wound a strip of paper around a pencil and glued it together.
The paper straw was born.
He got the patent in 1888, and within a year, his factory was making two million straws a day.
The next milestone in our relationship with the straw came when World War II set off a boom in plastics.
Here's a plane containing hundreds of plastic parts.
This parachute is made of nylon, a plastic.
U.S. plastic production increased 300 percent during the war.
After the war, plastic stuck around replacing wood, metal, and paper in industry after industry.
All these and thousands of other items, small and large, that enrich our way of life, involved the use of plastic materials of one kind or another.
In 2015, marine biologists in waters off of Costa Rica found a sea turtle with a straw stuck up its nose.
The scientists removed the straw and filmed the process.
It's hard to watch.
You can tell the turtle is in a lot of pain.
When they put the video online, it went viral, giving a spark to a budding movement.
If you think about climate change, that's been hard for people to understand what the impact is and what to do about this.
Here you are saying, okay look, I'm giving you a very specific example, one straw, one animal.
Magali Delmas has studied businesses and sustainability for 20 years, and she's written a book about how we can get consumers to make greener choices.
She says the anti-straw campaign is resonating because it's easy to do and has personal benefits for consumers, and it pays off for companies.
So what benefit do you get for going without a plastic straw?
I'm getting better status, because you can say as an individual, yes, I am doing something for the planet and I can show it to you.
And also, there's the glamorous facts.
Right? So they're using Adrian Grenier, and you know, kind of movie stars, to talk about this.
So it's cool; you make it cool.
That increased sensitivity to our environmental impact is rubbing off on brands.
We see that consumers in all the surveys are saying, we want companies to be more responsible.
Socially responsible investors are now asking companies to show them that they are doing the right thing on all these different metrics.
That's why companies are thinking about this much more seriously.
Though they're getting a lot of focus right now, straws aren't going to disappear overnight.
For one thing, disability activists have pointed out that some people need flexible plastic straws.
Plus paper straws are making a comeback and other alternatives are popping up all over it, from collapsible straws, to silicone, to glass.
I think when you start with a small, simple solution that people can do in their homes, when they go out, then you kind of start to give people some hope.
And this isn't really about the straw itself.
The straw is just the first step, a way to get us thinking: what other habits could we change for the good of the planet?
Thanks for watching.
Hit the comments with your thoughts on the straw band; like, subscribe and we'll see you next time.
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Is the Anti-Straw Movement as Forward As It Seems? - Cheddar Explains

11694 Folder Collection
April Lu published on May 27, 2019
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