Buying planet-kind products is thankfully becoming easier now that more items are available in stores.
But packaging is often still a significant problem, regardless of the qualities of what’s inside.
One Reddit user found this out while hunting for paper straws, discovering that the packaging of the product kind of defeated the point of the item.
It’s an ironic problem, but another Redditor pointed out that’s not the only irony.
“Remember when we used to pack plastic straws in paper? Sometimes it feels like nobody is actually in charge of anything,” they said.
Citing data from the Trash Free Seas Alliance, the World Wildlife Fund noted the average U.S. citizen uses 1.6 straws a day. If you applied that figure to the U.S. population, that would be enough straws to “circle the equator two-and-a-half times.”
“Plastic has been found in an estimated 90% of all seabirds and in all sea turtle species,” according to the WWF. “Within the next decade there could be a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the ocean.”
While straws are one of the most common examples of single-use plastics that end up in landfills or the sea, packaging is also a concern — especially when it seems so unnecessary.
According to WRAP, a climate action group, the world produces around 311 billion pounds (141
million tonnes) of plastic packaging a year and around a third of that pollutes the environment after being improperly discarded.
Furthermore, WRAP said, “plastic production, use and disposal contributes about 1.8 billion tonnes [almost 2 tons] of carbon emissions annually.”
Carbon emissions are a key driver of rising global temperatures, so reducing plastic waste is vital to stopping the Earth from heating up. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extreme heat can lead to a number of health concerns, such as cardiovascular and respiratory disorders.
While this straw shopper had the best intentions, it seems the manufacturer wasn’t exactly helping their climate-protection efforts.
“Proves that the companies don’t actually care,” one Redditor wrote. “They just want to virtue signal in order to appeal to demographics.”
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