By Dragoness11 - 03/05/2019 03:00 - United Kingdom

Today, at a cheap restaurant, my dad asked me if I wanted a straw. I declined, saying I wanted to do my bit for the environment and not waste plastic when I'm fine without. He grabbed three and dropped them on the sticky table, "just in case." FML
I agree, your life sucks 1 628
You deserved it 486

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Trying to fix the environment by not using straws is like trying to put out a fire by standing nearby and thinking wet thoughts.

If you're that passionate about not throwing away straws, maybe try to figure out a way to recycle them.

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Trying to fix the environment by not using straws is like trying to put out a fire by standing nearby and thinking wet thoughts.

I disagree. Everything with environment is like this. We are with 7 billion at the moment in a quite big world. Every individual action, is just a drop on a plate, both ways (drop of oil or drop of water, depends on what you're doing). Still, if we choose to collectively put a shitload of drops on that plate, it takes effect. Maybe it's just one straw by one person, but if every human on this planet uses one straw each day, it's 7 billion straws a day. At that's way more than just wet thoughts...

Individual actions are nothing compared to what corporations are allowed to do. Good for you for using less straws, but it's less than nothing compared to, say, Apple making hundreds of millions of smartphones (essentially small bricks packed full of heavy metals and other toxin) per year that are designed to be thrown out and replaced as soon as they can get away with. That's just one company out of thousands, across pretty much all industries, whose business model is based almost entirely around planned obsolescence. Consider the entire world economy, and you can see why focusing on something as incredibly minor as straws is fucking retarded in the grand scheme of things.

That's a stupid way to see things (and the reason why we are where we are now, environmentally speaking). You have to start with what you can do - one people not using straws won't do much, but thousands of people doing the same has an impact (some countries / business are currently replacing plastic straws with reusable alternatives because people spoke up about this).

While you might be right, OP cannot affect Apple or any other corporate actions but she can do her bit by reducing plastic, recycling, etc. Every little helps :)

julfunky 29

The reason we have the problems we do is because everyone has this thought.

Two things. 1) Yes, small actions can help, but only if it's done correctly. Raising awareness on the real source of pollution and toxins (i.e. corporations), getting it into the public consciousness and hopefully making it a key issue for politicians could actually help in a real way. Focusing people's attention (which is very much a limited resource, believe it or not, especially on a larger scale) on something so small and trivial that it's literally given away for free (such as straws), on the other hand, just distracts from issues and solutions that might actually have an impact. 2) I know I touched on it already, but it warrants repeating. A few people using less of a product that is so small and trivial that for-profit business see fit to hand it out to free to anyone and everyone who wants one is going to make zero impact on the environment. You may feel all warm and fuzzy and like you're helping to save the world by not taking one, next time you buy a drink, but in reality using a few less straws isn't going to mean the difference between the global temperature rising by a degree or two over the next couple of decades, and making a huge national issue out of it serves only to take attention away from actions that actually could (such as banning planned obsolescence, and tightly regulating other wasteful practices). But by all means, keep clinging to vapid, feel-good bullshit. With global temperatures and sea levels already on the rise, and the extinction rate through the roof and only climbing faster, rejecting facts in favour of feelings is something we can totally afford to do.

julfunky 29

Small and trivial? America alone uses 500 MILLION straws every single day. https://www.strawlessocean.org/faq/

If you're that passionate about not throwing away straws, maybe try to figure out a way to recycle them.

Not true. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_hierarchy Ok, it's just a straw, but not using them is better then recycling.

You do realize that recycling pollutes too. Not using things, especially things as unnecessary as straws, is a much better option than trying to recycle them.

Cowboybob 11

They’re just straws

They are not 'just straws', it's never 'just plastic': https://get-green-now.com/environmental-impact-plastic-straws/

I don't get the FML. If the dad can grab straws for himself, then they are probably at a fast food restaurant or other semi-self serve place. The straws are likely in wrappers. No one's making you use them. Considering the dramatic response, I can understand how your dad would think you might be fickle and might change your mind in 5 minutes. If it bothers you that much and it's that important to you, you could *gasp* put them back!

there is a chance that in the UK in that particular place, the straws are not wrapped in paper, which makes them less possible to put back...

It seems that the straws were not wrapped and she could not put them back cos her dad placed them on the sticky table. Basically he wasted plastic out of his own careless stupidity

A simple no thanks would have worked better. Chances are you knew he’d react that way.

jpants 14

Personally, I think it’s awesome you were trying to do your part and not use a straw if you didn’t need to. Good for you. For anyone who thinks OP is silly or overreacting, visit strawlessocean.org/faq to better understand what straws are doing to our oceans and the marine life in them.

You’re a dumbass for thinking it would really help. Straws account for a tiny fraction of 1 percent of the plastic waste in the ocean. Fishing nets (the kind that trap and suffocate all kind of sea life including dolphins) make up about 50% of plastic waste. But go ahead with your stupid straw ban. I just asked for 3 extra straws from my server to offset your ignorant gesture.

I guarantee they only did that because they couldn’t stand the cliff of moral superiority you were trying to stand on. Also they’re just straws. Want to stop plastic waste don’t go to cheap fast food restaurants that are steeped in plastic waste.