As one of the most common examples of single-use plastics, straws are something we need to stop using. They’ve become the go-to for the cups of juice that we get with our fast food, though, so most of us keep on using them regardless. However, their incredible waste has seen the straw come under the ire of environmental groups for some time.
Now, even the big fast food outlets are taking positive action to bring this to an end: including McDonald’s. The fast-food joint has announced that, as of September 2018, you’ll stop getting a plastic straw with your drink in the United Kingdom.
With over 1.5m straws used in a single day in the UK from McDonald’s alone, that’s a lot of plastic no longer being used and wasted. It’s a fine choice and one that might take a bit of getting used to for drinks buyers. However, all it takes is for you to get a straw that you can use yourself: it’s not that big of a challenge.
Given the need to start cutting down on environmental waste, this can only be a good thing in the long-term. It’s the little things that cause so much waste, so cutting down on these little things is going to be essential for our long-term plastic consumption control.
There’s been a lot of backlash on this subject for some time – not least the fact that big names in the movie business are raising awareness. Given our propensity to hold people who act in films over actual experts as the go-to authority on everything, their voice is an important one in raising environmental awareness.
It’s a little strange, though, that it takes the entertainment industry to stop us from wasting our planet. One particularly active name in the industry has been that of Adrian Grenier, the star of Entourage, who said: “We really need to get to the root of the problem, and it really does circle back to our relationship to convenience, and our sense that things are disposable, which they aren’t. Small changes are the way we get there.”
Every little thing helps
Yes, it’s not a big change – it’s only McDonalds that have done this so far. However, it’s the small things that will, in the long-term, make the biggest difference. If we are serious about securing a safer and healthier future for us all, even little things like daily plastic consumption will need to change.
Getting a straw-less drink might be a minor inconvenience, but it’s going to at least do something to stem the tide of wasted plastic on a daily basis.
While we still need to work for the banning of all single-use plastic, this is a small but significant step forward. Could it be even more progressive? Yes, of course. Is it something to hold against McDonald’s? Not really: they are only doing what they can at present.
For now, though, let’s applaud one small step towards hopefully creating a world less reliant on single-use plastics.