I Am Sick Of This Whole Straw Thing

Look at this child. Look at the defense and fear in his eyes. He is so afraid that he will not get to keep his straw. Help him. HELP HIM. Public domain image.

Look at this child. Look at the defense and fear in his eyes. He is so afraid that he will not get to keep his straw. Help him. HELP HIM. Public domain image.

Brigid Ambuul, Content Editor

When a young Milo Cress launched his 2011 “Be Straw Free” campaign and sparked a movement to cut down the United States’ plastic consumption, I don’t think he understood just what he was doing.

A small child amongst the toppled ruins of the Straw Dynasty. Public domain image.

He didn’t know that eight years in the future, his activism would cause an entire generation of upstanding American caffeine addicts to lose whole seconds out of their day, forced to ask the barista timidly if they may please have a straw in order to more easily access the contents of their Venti iced mocha frappucino with three pumps of caramel.

That child is a monster.

Unfortunately, due to that 9 year old boy’s efforts, 2019 has become an apocalyptic wasteland in which we must feverishly grapple for the few plastic straws left in the months before corporations like Starbucks plan to have eliminated their every trace.

What are we youth expected to do? Are we to live as our primitive, turn-of-the-century ancestors who, according to National Geographic, drank their bitter black coffee through “hollow pieces of rye grass”?

I, for one, refuse to drink out of grass. Give me utensils with a 200-year lifespan! Give me a drinking apparatus that will fill up the oceans! Maybe they’ll get rid of all the sharks! That way I can take my beach selfies in the water — that’s called innovation.

See? Straws can be beautiful. Straws can be art. Milo Cress wants to rip this away from us. Public domain image.

And listen. Even if this whole straw thing is just a movement designed to draw attention to the wider issue of global pollution, why should we care? It’s not America’s fault that people from Asia and Africa have been dumping their debris into rivers. Do we live in Asia? No. So we shouldn’t have to put up with those weird paper straws that kind of dissolve in your mouth after a while.

Here’s the thing. These scientists all say they can’t actually calculate how much plastic we use throughout the world. Their estimates tally up to anything like 8.3 billion metric tons that have been produced since the mid-1950s (at least according to a 2017 study called “Production, use, and fate of all plastic ever made”). That’s a lot. Seriously a lot. So forcing us to look at our

You heard me. Public domain image.

plastic consumption by cutting back on straw usage is only going to depress us, anyway. Nobody will want to help if they’re depressed. It’s counterproductive.

This whole thing is really just stupid. If I live in America, and if America isn’t the problem, why should I try to help the situation? It’s a waste of my precious time — time I could be spending on crafting my social media image by purchasing several of those super cute inflatable rafts from Urban Outfitters and snapping exorbitant amounts of plastic-lined Polaroids to hang on my wall.

I’ve got more important things to focus on than the ozone, Milo Cress. Give me back my straws.