Straws Part of Bigger Problem

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The Fort Myers Beach city council has the deciding vote banning a simple device that delivers a variety of nectars from a glass to our lips. The first ‘paper’ straw was developed in 1888. Since then this small tubular invention has become a necessity of life. It has not only been found in empty glasses, but on the beach, in the surf, and cluttering our gutters to mention just a few areas.

If we are going as far to ban plastic straws, how about the plastic glasses that accompany them? What about plastic water bottles? On any given day you can see the waste that people leave behind on our beaches, which a lot of this garbage ends up being washed out to sea. Is this the reason why we have up to 236,000 metric tons of plastic floating in the world’s oceans?

Plastic straws still don’t come close to the amount of cigarette butts that virtually litter every part of our environment. Cigarette butts account for more than 68% of our roadside litter. To smokers, ‘The world is their ashtray”! Do we ban smoking on the beach, street and/or everywhere? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Will educating people help the situation? Placing more trash, cigarette and recycle receptacles encouraging people to deposit their waste properly? I really doubt it. Ever since Homo sapiens evolutionary development came to be, the world’s environment has been in jeopardy. Our landfills bury over 250 million tons of trash a year. Which now is big business.

With all this said, the straw issue is but a drop in the bucket in comparison. Can the people who live on this island every single day make a difference? The straw banning proposition is a small token in bringing attention to a worsening problem.

Anthony Scopel
Fort Myers Beach