Plastic straws

The UK could ban plastic straws

Apparently we throw away 8.5 billion straws a year

The UK is on a war against plastic. The government has now launched a consultation about whether or not it should ban the use of plastic straws and cotton buds.

What it means: According to the consultation document, the UK throws away 8.5 bn plastic straws every year... that's a lot of G&Ts.

The UK has recently tried to paint itself as a "world leader" on the fight against plastic waste. The image of straws and Q-tips and stuff floating around in the ocean is slowly seeping in to our consciousness, and the government is starting to act.

It's taken a number of different approaches so far: there's the 'incentives' approach – putting a charge on plastic bags, or a new idea to give rewards for bringing back plastic bottles. Then there's the all-out ban: microbeads (tiny little balls of plastic) can't be used in cosmetics or toothpaste anymore (yah, you used to brush your teeth with little balls of plastic, don't think about it too much) and now the plastic straws.

The government's got a big fight on its hands. We live in a pretty throw-away society, and encouraging people to change the way they think about 'consumption' and waste isn't easy. But there's been some success – the plastic bags charge has reduced the amount of bags we use by more than 80 per cent in England.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?