May 17, 2018

Is Metal Straw-Shaming a Thing Now?

In response to keeping the environment clean, many people have pledged to lessen their plastic consumption or go zero waste altogether. Although this transition doesn’t happen overnight, the fact that people are slowly using sustainable products is still a step toward something good.

Recently, I noticed discussions—sometimes even full-blown arguments—on the usage of metal and bamboo straws. As many would know, these are used as an alternative to plastic straws. They’re reusable, washable, and you can carry them with you so you can easily drink . Many have argued that it’s counterproductive to use metal/bamboo straws, some even noting that it’s just a capitalist ploy, because “people can just simply drink straight from the cup.”

As someone who bought a metal straw set for regular beverages and bubble milk teas (boba is life), I understand where they’re coming from. There are indeed drinks that don’t need straws, like the ones being served in restaurants. But there are also cases wherein metal straws can come in handy. People with sensitive teeth can’t drink straight from a glass without feeling an aching sensation. We should also put into account those who are physically incapable to sip from a glass. Personally, I use it so my drink won’t spill when I’m walking around.

The whole argument about doing away with alternative straws mostly boils down to consumer choice. If you believe that a metal straw isn’t the answer to saving the environment, then feel free to do what you think is right. But it’s not fair if you discourage another person by telling them they’re wrong or make them feel bad with how they choose to be sustainable.

Screengrabbed from Kimi Juan’s Instagram Highlight

Like I said, switching to a sustainable lifestyle and getting rid of plastic, especially in the macro level, don’t happen in a snap. People can start out small and do the best they can if they are willing to help the cause.

“But not everyone can buy these straws or other sustainable products!” That is true, and no one is forcing them to purchase such items if they don’t see the need for them yet. However, they can be informed of other practices that can be convenient for them.

Sustainability isn’t a shame-fest where you have to prove you’re better. Unless they’re doing something wrong, you shouldn’t dictate them on what they should do just because you don’t have the same practices—yes, that includes the use of metal straws. Help each other out and suggest ideas, you don’t have to be condescending with it.

 

Art by Marian Hukom

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culture, environment, metal straw, sustainability, Zero Waste



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