Frankly if straws went away tomorrow I wouldn’t care. In fact I’d be happy to see them go. But getting all uppity about “saving the Earth,” especially when such sentiment comes from a big giant corporation or government, annoys me.
Not to be outdone by busybody legislators, Starbucks, the nation’s largest food and drink retailer, announced on Monday that it would be going strawless.
“This is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” said Starbucks Kevin Johnson CEO in a press release announcing the move.
The coffee giant says that by 2020 it hopes to have eliminated all single-use plastic straws at its 28,000 stores worldwide. It will now top all its cold drinks with fancy new strawless lids that the company currently serves with its cold brew nitro coffees. (Frappuccinos will still be served with a compostable or paper straw.)
As is to be expected, Starbucks’ decision was greeted with universal adulation.
The World Wildlife Fund and Ocean Conservancy both provided ebullient quotes for Starbucks’ press releases. Liberal magazine The New Republic praised the move as an “environmental milestone.” Slate hailed the Starbucks straw ban as evidence of as a victory for a bona fide anti-straw movement, one that would hopefully lead to bans of more things plastic in years to come.
Yet missing from this fanfare was the inconvenient fact that by ditching plastic straws, Starbucks will actually be increasing its plastic use. As it turns out, the new nitro lids that Starbucks is leaning on to replace straws are made up of more plastic than the company’s current lid/straw combination.
It really is a busybody, preening, culture that drives this sort of thing. Hey look at me. I’m environmentally conscious.
I openly and proudly call myself an environmentalist but the smug self satisfied bumper sticker mentality of some folks is almost insufferable.
“Look at me! No straw in may Starbucks Refresher! It’s hibiscus strawberry acai you know.” (Don’t forget to ad the affected vocal fry.)
Wow. Good for you. Congratulations. You know you could have just made your own drink at home and created 1/10 of the waste. But you know, that’s not as much fun as virtue signaling.