Top of the afternoon everyone...
I had trouble deciding on the title of this blog entry. It was either going to be the title I used, or something along the lines of "Still Trying Not to Become a Right Wing Zealot." "The Elephant in the Room" was also a possibility. It was a difficult choice.
We are all aware that plastic straws are the latest concern in the global war on climate change. Putting aside all of the questions that might develop from the sentence above, perhaps there is some merit. The use of non-biodegradable products with such limited usability is not good for the environment. It is also not good for the wallet. That being said, I do not believe for even an instant that banning plastic straws, which comprise 0.025% of the 8,000,000 tons of plastic that end up in our oceans, will have the tiniest effect on climate change (please note that I am not defining climate change in any way. There is no consensus on exactly what it is, let alone what causes it).
With such concern about this environmental scourge, many cities are banning the use of plastic straws. The Trudeau government wishes to ban them for Canada as of 2021. Here in Toronto, Yorkdale Mall will commence its ban in October.
Let us clarify some numbers. As mentioned, straws comprise 0.025% of the 8,000,000 metric tons of plastic that ends up in our oceans. 8,000,000 x 0.025% = 8,000,000 x 0.00025 = 2000. 2000 metric tons of plastic straws get into our oceans each year. I agree. This is a problem.
Again though, we ignore the elephant in the room. A study from the US National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts find their way into the world's waters per year. That works out to approximately 765436 metric tons.
765436/2000...that means that the gross tonnage of cigarette butts in our oceans outweighs the gross tonnage of plastic straws by a factor of more than 380. And the number of poisons in those cigarette butts is also not easily discounted. Here is the link to the NIH study: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088407/. There were too many poisons to list in this blog entry.
Henceforth, I will avoid the use of plastic straws. Is there perhaps one smoker out there who will avoid the use of cigarettes in return? Henceforth, I will avoid the use of plastic straws. In return, is there one politician willing to consider and react to the environmental lethality of tobacco?
Have a good day folks.