About six months ago, I was in a bar in downtown Buffalo, and I asked for a drink. Before serving it to me, the bartender took out a large plastic straw, dipped it into the drink, put her thumb over the top end, pulled it back out and put a small sample of the liquid into her mouth. She then grabbed a smaller plastic straw, placed it in my drink, and handed it to me. After taking a sip, I asked her, “When was the last time that you tasted one of these drinks with a straw and ended up pouring it out to start afresh?” She looked at me, smiled, and admitted “not since she learned how to make the drink.”
It’s estimated that Americans use and discard 500 million straws a day.
I thought about the two plastic straws that had simply gone to waste, and the amount of straws the bar must go through every night… every year. It must be astounding. Not only does the big tasting straw not make any sense, it’s a waste of money and an environmental slap in the face. Not to mention the tiny stirring straws that only get in the way when trying to drink. The darn things are more of a nuisance as they continue to poke you in the lip every time you take a sip. But old habits die hard, and getting people to change the way they do things can be very difficult.
This morning, a friend sent me the following video from Now This, which pretty much sums up how wasteful we humans have become. Not only have we not figured out how to stop using the small stir straws, some swank bars have actually incorporated an even larger tasting straw into the mix. When will we ever stop to think about the waste?