“Do you really think you can save the Planet by not using plastic straws?”
Sometimes I receive this kind of comment, in real life and not. But it doesn’t bother me at all, actually offers an occasion to express my thoughts and go deeper into the conversation.
I got it. The “plastic movement” has somehow shifted the attention from the bigger picture aka climate change and biodiversity loss.
What we are experiencing today is the Holocene extinction, better known as the sixth mass species extinction, taking place as a result of human activity.
We are observing a dramatic acceleration of cause-effects, leading to catastrophic climate changes and to a vertiginous biodiversity loss.
Correcting my own words, we are not only observing: we are living and unfortunately creating it.
Of all forms of pollution, plastic is the most difficult to eliminate yet the easiest to fight.
Let me explain better.
Starting from the assumption that every single piece of plastic ever produced still exists somewhere on this planet and that we will hardly get rid of it in the near future, we can also safely say that each of us can reduce, if not definitively eliminate, its use.
It’s a war everyone can fight.
Certain decisions are not depending on us, at least not so directly (just think of oil extraction), but the use and consumption of plastic is literally in our hands.
That’s why activists are choosing to start the war by fighting on this front and that’s why more and more people are joining the movement.
It’s direct, it’s immediate, it’s real.
What we need it’s an entire army fighting the same battle if we want to succeed.
Unlike other forms of pollution (for example acoustic), damages caused by plastic are visible. Maybe it’s sad to say, but they can be documented. Filmed and photographed. Unfortunately, sometimes we needs tangible evidence to quantify something. It’s a primitive instinct, but the feeling aroused by something visible remain impress.
The images of straws extracted from bleeding noses of turtles are well imprinted in everyone’s memory. They are raw, brutal. But it is necessary to show them. We have to be woken up with a slap in the face.
I am quite confident to state that the plastic movement doesn’t divert attention from the ultimate goal. On the contrary, it draws attention to something we had lost sight of and allows many to reconnect with the Earth.
So, say no to a “plastic straw” (or anything else made of plastic) means taking a clear position, standing up for a cause and fighting a battle.
More, it means to finally give back to this Planet the sacrality it deserves.