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Irate Twitter user sparks outrage with confounding straw photo: 'Virtue signaling at its best'

"They [are] taking one step at a time I guess."

Paper straw

Photo Credit: @prernachettri/ Twitter

Some companies and the people that run them might have the very best intentions. But, if they execute ideas without fully thinking them through — which, unfortunately, happens too often — it can often negate their work and be all for naught.

Such is the case with sustainable products meant to help the planet, like soap cased in large, thick packaging, refills of cleaners sold in non-compostable material, or paper straws wrapped in plastic — which is exactly what one Twitter user griped about.

Prerna Chettri tweeted, "Biggest joke is this. Paper straw wrapped in a plastic cover," alongside their photo showing exactly what's described, a paper straw wrapped in plastic.

In case you're wondering what the big deal is here, it's the unnecessary use of plastic — particularly combined with a paper straw, something meant to be better for the planet overall.

Paper straws are compostable and biodegradable, unlike plastic straws, which take a whopping 200 years to break down. Plus, they won't harm animals through the creation of microplastics as their plastic straw counterparts can. With 24.4+ trillion microplastics floating in our oceans and creating hazardous environments for marine life, it's important to cut back on plastics in any way possible. 

As if this weren't enough, only about 5% of the about 40 million tons of plastic thrown away in the U.S. actually gets recycled each year.

So, while a paper straw is indeed a step in the right direction for a more sustainable planet, companies making them could take it a step further by using more eco-friendly packaging — like paper.

Other Twitter users are in total agreement. One likened this to " … taking a shower with an open umbrella," and another compares it to " … a vegan leather jacket with a fur collar."

Another sums it up nicely: "They [are] taking one step at a time I guess 😅 Plastic straw➡️Paper straw f/b plastic cover ➡️ paper cover."

"Virtue signaling at [its] best," another wrote. "[What] matters will be green innovation, not penny pinching."

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