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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.

  • And also, there's the glamorous facts.

  • Right? So, they're using Adrian Grenier and, you know, kind of movie star, 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.

  • 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.

Up next, Tom Brady wants you to stop using plastic straws.

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B1 US straw paper stone turtle relationship war

Is the Anti-Straw Movement as Forward As It Seems? - Cheddar Explains

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    April Lu posted on 2019/05/26
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