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szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen
The last straw: Is time up for this plastic relic?
    2018-January-23  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

英美发起反吸管运动 对塑料吸管说不

Every day, Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws, enough to circle the Earth twice, or fill 125 school buses.

Made from fossil fuels, they are almost never recycled because they’re too small and could be made from several different types of plastic. They simply contribute to the massive problem of plastic pollution; 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year.

Plastic straws are now the target of a growing movement to reduce their use. Possibly the first of such campaigns, Be Straw Free was started in 2011 by Milo Cress, who was only 9 years old at the time. “I noticed that whenever I ordered a drink at a restaurant, it would usually come with a straw in it, and I don’t usually need a straw,” he said.

“This seemed like a huge waste. Straws are made of oil, a precious and finite resource. Is making single-use plastic straws, which will be used for a matter of minutes before being tossed away, really what we want to do with this resource?”

Cress started asking restaurants in Burlington, Vermont, where he lived at the time, to stop providing straws automatically to customers and make them optional instead. Many agreed and his request made ripples nationwide. He says that restaurants that made the switch reported a 50-80 percent reduction in the number of straws they used.

The anti-straw sentiment has crossed borders into the U.K., where straws have been included in a government plan to ban all plastic waste by 2042. Last year, large pub chain Wetherspoons announced that it would replace plastic straws with paper alternatives across 900 outlets. After the announcement, many smaller chains and pubs across the country followed suit.

“There are disabled people who write me to tell me they carry reusable straws with them — many reusable straws even come with a carrying case,” said Cress. “There are reusable glass, stainless steel, copper, bamboo, and several other kinds of reusable straws.”

By not demonizing the straw as an object, he thinks activists can hope to achieve better goals. “I am not out to ban straws. I think it’s much more effective to encourage people to make the choice not to use them.”Words to Learn

相关词汇

【化石燃料】huàshí ránliào

fossil fuels a fossil fuel is a fuel formed by natural processes, such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms, containing energy originating in ancient photosynthesis

【丢掉】 diū diào

toss away throw or cast away

每天美国人都要扔掉5亿根塑料吸管,足以绕地球两圈,或者装满125辆校车。

用化石燃料制成的塑料吸管几乎从来不会被回收利用,因为它们体积太小,而且可能是由好几种不同类型的塑料制成的。这些吸管直接加剧了塑料污染的严重问题,每年都会有800万吨塑料被倾倒进海洋中。

小小的塑料吸管竟然会造成棘手的环境问题,很多成人可能都没有意识到,但是美国一个9岁的小孩却意识到了,还发起了第一场反吸管运动,让塑料吸管成为可选项。

现在以减少塑料吸管使用量为目标的运动越来越多。“不用吸管”可能是第一场这样的运动,该运动在2011年由年仅9岁的米罗·克雷斯发起。克雷斯说:“我注意到,无论何时我在餐厅点饮料,杯子里总会有吸管,而我一般不需要吸管。”

“这看起来是一个巨大的浪费。塑料吸管是用石油制成的,而石油是一种宝贵的有限资源。用石油生产才用几分钟就丢掉的一次性吸管,我们真的想这么利用资源吗?”

克雷斯开始请求他当时的居住地佛蒙特州伯灵顿的餐厅停止自动为顾客提供吸管,改为自选。许多餐厅都同意了,他的请求产生的影响像涟漪一般在全国扩散开来。他说,做出改变的餐厅报告说,所用的吸管数量减少了50%到80%。

而在大西洋的另一头,英国人也开始采取措施应对塑料吸管造成的浪费和污染。英国一家连锁酒吧选择使用比塑料吸管更环保的替代品。

反吸管热潮还扩散到了英国,吸管被纳入了英国政府在2042年前禁止所有塑料垃圾的计划。去年,大型连锁酒吧Wetherspoons宣布,将在900家分店中把塑料吸管替换为纸吸管。在这之后,英国许多中小型连锁店和酒吧纷纷效仿。

“有些不得不用吸管的人写信告诉我,他们随身携带可反复使用的吸管——许多这种吸管还自带收纳盒,”克雷斯说,“现在有可反复使用的玻璃吸管、不锈钢吸管、铜吸管、竹吸管,还有好几种其他类型的吸管可多次使用。”他认为,如果不将吸管这个物品妖魔化,反吸管活动有望达到更高的目标。“我不赞成禁止吸管。我认为鼓励人们选择不用吸管会有效得多。” (Chinadaily.com.cn)

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