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Too cool!
If I was a younger man, I'd work with these folks.
 
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Excellent

Is he selling them to China?
Hope so. Though the Chinese might just copy it like they do to a lot of things invented by others. The truth is the Ocean Cleanup company is a non profit and as he mentions he hopes to go out of business ASAP.
 

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This is very cool and sure seems promising. I only wish we'd spend our time and resources on ideas like this, along with proper waste disposal in the first place. Instead, we are forcing everyone to pay 5 times more for paper straws (I believe that is literal), over plastic, when the US has only one river in the top 1000 polluters. We need to be smart with limited amounts of time and money.

While I think it's beside the point, I admit to having a tough time with their proposition that it's less expensive to clean plastic from the ocean than it is to suffer the cost of polluted oceans. I looked on their website to see how they came to this conclusion and it was not well defined. The estimate for the cost to the US, for example, was between $520 million and $5.6 billion. Not exactly a precise measurement. Nevertheless, I don't think it should be the point anyway. Either keep the trash out of the river or pay to clean it up.
 

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Instead, we are forcing everyone to pay 5 times more for paper straws (I believe that is literal), over plastic, when the US has only one river in the top 1000 polluters. We need to be smart with limited amounts of time and money.
I don't see the problem with banning straws. I don't pay five times more, because I don't use them. I don't even know why we need them. There are only a few disabled people who need straws. I'm not even sure how we ever got started using them.
 

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I don't see the problem with banning straws. I don't pay five times more, because I don't use them. I don't even know why we need them. There are only a few disabled people who need straws. I'm not even sure how we ever got started using them.
I don't use them either, other than the rarest occasion, but imposing one's personal preferences on everyone is emotional mob rule, not intelligent policy making. I guarantee there is something you find improves your quality of life that I find unnecessary.

If there is a behavior that is truly damaging society as a whole, it's fair game. I think its proven that plastic straws and single use grocery bags have little to no net impact. Especially in the US, where little of our garbage goes in the water in the first place. In some cases, their replacements have other negative impacts, just as deforestation. Some argue we should do something or set an example. I understand the benefit of doing so. However, I also recognize the time and money that is wasted on these feel good initiatives that don't actually produce results. Time and money are limited resources, not unlike the ocean.

There is a charity I was involved in that locally raised and donated significant amount of money to social organizations. When the local organizations applied for the grants, they had to prove their idea would actually have an impact, it couldn't just sound good. You may want to open a soup kitchen to feed the hungry, but you didn't get the money just because that was a worthy cause. You had to show your plan was actually going to work and it had to be a better plan than the next application that was also trying to feed the hungry. The idea was to get the job done, not just do something.
 

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I don't see the problem with banning straws. I don't pay five times more, because I don't use them. I don't even know why we need them. There are only a few disabled people who need straws. I'm not even sure how we ever got started using them.
A much bigger issue than a few disabled people .
1- sanitation
2- someday you get older and not be able to hold a drink
3- take out containers

500 million used a day. Every little part of keeping plastic out of the trash stream helps.
 

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Hope so. Though the Chinese might just copy it like they do to a lot of things invented by others. The truth is the Ocean Cleanup company is a non profit and as he mentions he hopes to go out of business ASAP.
I think it woud be fantastic if the Chinese either bought or stole, and made use of this. However, I think it unlikely that they will make any meaningful effort.
 

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A much bigger issue than a few disabled people .
1- sanitation
500 million used a day. Every little part of keeping plastic out of the trash stream helps.
Unless your straw came in a paper wrapper, it was handled by someone. Your water glass was run through a sanitizer in the dishwasher.


A much bigger issue than a few disabled people .
2- someday you get older and not be able to hold a drink
500 million used a day. Every little part of keeping plastic out of the trash stream helps.
An aged person who can't hold a drink qualifies as disabled.


A much bigger issue than a few disabled people .
3- take out containers
500 million used a day. Every little part of keeping plastic out of the trash stream helps.
I only buy takeout food from places that use cardboard containers. I keep a set of reusable camping eating utensils in my briefcase to avoid disposable plastic utensils. I also have a reusable stainless steel coffee cup for when I get coffee, and a stainless steel water bottle that I fill up from the water spigot at the soda machines at convenience stores.
I've managed to significantly reduce my plastic disposal. The next big plastic thing I plan to buy is a sailboat.

The straw ban is partly a symbolic thing and an educational thing. The photo of the sea turtle with a straw stuck in it's nose, that has gone viral on the internet, has made a whole generation of school kids more aware of the environment. It starts with a discussion of straws, and can then move to Fiji Water bottles, take out food, and Amazon packaging. It has helped the newer generations think about something bigger than just themselves.

For my generation, it was the photos of massive fish kills in the Great Lakes, and the photos of Los Angeles obscured by smog. That helped us pass the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, and build the EPA.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I only buy takeout food from places that use cardboard containers. I keep a set of reusable camping eating utensils in my briefcase to avoid disposable plastic utensils. I also have a reusable stainless steel coffee cup for when I get coffee, and a stainless steel water bottle that I fill up from the water spigot at the soda machines at convenience stores.
I've managed to significantly reduce my plastic disposal. The next big plastic thing I plan to buy is a sailboat.
I think most people try and limit the stuff they throw out and want to maintain a clean environment. I usually travel with an metal insulated mug which I use for coffee and cocktails when taking the train from New York to Miami. But sometimes you can't win. I was in Key West last April and I would go to a nearby Coffee Shop in the morning. It had a fairly "new age" feel. They would not fill my mug with coffee. Insisting on putting it into their cup and putting on a plastic lid. I tried to explain to the tatooed purple haired twenty something gal behind the counter that it was kind of wasteful since I was just going to pour it into my cup and throw the cup and lid into the garbage as soon as she handed it to me. She would not budge saying she had to put a lid on it before she would hand it to me. I just shake my head.

I'm heading out on a cruise ship next month out of New York. I'll be bringing my insulated mug for my dawn walks around the deck and later for whatever cool libations I might choose. I expect the drinks i order will be served in plastic cups. My plan is to try and use only one plastic cup for the entire trip to the Bahamas and back. I'll give it to the bartenders to make the drink and then pour it into my insulated mug. I'll then clean and reuse the plastic cup for future beverages. At least that will be my goal.
 

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The problem is everyone seems to say "we arent the problem....THEY are much worse than us..." They then use that arguement to rationalize doing nothing.

The reality is that plastics are a global problem. We like to pay ourselves on the back because we are better at "recycling" our plastics, but the reality is much of that plastic is being sent to 3rd world countries for "recycling". Nobody cares what happens to it after that. They don't want to know that it is often incinerated or just buried. We then point to our relatively clean environment and claim we are not the problem.

We need to wake up and realize that plastics are forever. That plastic bag you used to carry a couple of items from the store to your car, and from your car to your house will likely still exist long after you are dead and gone! The same goes for the straw, plastic lid and styrofoam plate you used for 10 minutes.

We use these plastics because they are cheap and convenient, not because they are the only option. Paper straws existed long before plastic straws came about. I am seeing more and more fast food restaurants go back to cardboard products . Some businesses in my area are starting to use bamboo cutlery instead of plastic.

Plastic bottles are one of the worst problems. Years ago beverages were sold in refillable glass bottles. Coca Cola did a study that showed that glass bottles that were part of a closed cycle were more cost effective than plastics, but they buried that study and transitioned to plastics, and in doing so offloaded responsibility for those containers onto the government and the consumer.

Part of the solution is for individual consumers to make better choices. Instead of buying a plastic bottle of soda, choose the can instead. Aluminum is far easier to recycle. Choose products with less packaging...do you really need to buy the cobs of corn nicely presented on a styrofoam tray with cellophane wrapper? Fresh corn comes with it's own biodegradable wrapper! Why not reach for the cardboard carton of milk rather than the plastic jug?

Individual consumers alone are not going to solve the problem. The corporations are not going to make changes willingly unless it is something that helps their bottom line, so governments need to step in and force them. A ban on single use plastics is a good way to start. Once that happens, industry will innovate, and find solutions, some of which already exist, they just cost a few pennies more.



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I think most people try and limit the stuff they throw out and want to maintain a clean environment.

I was in Key West last April and I would go to a nearby Coffee Shop in the morning. They would not fill my mug with coffee. Insisting on putting it into their cup and putting on a plastic lid. I tried to explain to the tatooed purple haired twenty something gal behind the counter that it was kind of wasteful since I was just going to pour it into my cup and throw the cup and lid into the garbage as soon as she handed it to me. She would not budge saying she had to put a lid on it before she would hand it to me. I just shake my head.
I had a similar experience. I had my own cup and the clerk was reluctant to put my drink in it. Then the manager said it would be fine, but he pulled a cup out of the cup holder and threw it in the trash. I asked what that was about, and he told me that the corporation keeps inventory of drinks sold by the number of cups they use.
 

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I had a similar experience. I had my own cup and the clerk was reluctant to put my drink in it. Then the manager said it would be fine, but he pulled a cup out of the cup holder and threw it in the trash. I asked what that was about, and he told me that the corporation keeps inventory of drinks sold by the number of cups they use.
That is ridiculous. Most coffee shops around here encourage personal cups, and usually offer a discount. I have been using the same stainless travel mug every workday since 1997.

Paper cups dont bother me too much, it's the plastic lids I try to avoid. I won't buy a coffee in a foam cup.
 

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That is ridiculous. Most coffee shops around here encourage personal cups, and usually offer a discount. I have been using the same stainless travel mug every workday since 1997.

Paper cups dont bother me too much, it's the plastic lids I try to avoid. I won't buy a coffee in a foam cup.
Yes, it is ridiculous. I've used my reusable cups for years, and this incident was a rare one.
 
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