Is There An Alternative to Plastic Straw Virtue Signaling? Yes, There Is.

natural gas nowTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

I’ve had it with plastic straw virtue signaling that has no basis in either fact or morals and simply reflects the self-righteousness of the pseudo-enviros.

While this post is about plastic straw virtue signaling, it could just as easily be about plastic bags, other single-use plastics, fractivism or any number of utterly superficial environmental causes. The plastic straw virtue signaling, though, offers perhaps the overall best example.

This is because it is totally pointless and is emblematic of at least two things; the unserious nature of environmentalism today and the lust of business executives for such low-cost green-washing and the admiration of their country club friends. Happily, it’s not that way everywhere. There is a place where sanity yet reigns. There is an alternative.

The alternative is pointed out by Ed Driscoll, a contributor at my favorite website, Instapundit. He took note of this wonderful video on plastic straws:

This video captures it all; the phony stats, the journalistic malpractice, the plastic straw virtue signaling by pseudo-enviros, the demagogic politicians, the totalitarian impulse on the part of plastic straw banners and the reality. It illustrates the futility of this sort nonsense, which seems to pervade everything these days. It’s all meaningless blather intended to signal one’s green values to others without doing anything serious; like putting up a cheap plastic sign up on your front yard saying “Be Green.” It accomplishes nothing other. It only reinforces the self-pride of the person putting it up.

This self-pride, though, is very important to some folks, especially business executives who want a cheap way to look good among country club peers and with a segment of their market that thinks green in the same sort of shallow way. Hence, what we get is a rush to be being at the front of the fad as one business after another surrenders to green political correctness and tries to sell their customers on soggy, disgusting tasting and eventually collapsing paper straws for the sake of their own greenwashing desires. Or, worse, they try to lecture you into using no straw at all, as in this case of the waitress guarding her new found authority like Deputy Bernadette Fife

It’s all so completely ridiculous. But, there is an alternative. Ed Driscoll talks about it in his intro to the above video. Naturally, as Driscoll notes, it’s a Texas business that has shown the way:

P. Terry’s Burger Stand chain, with their colorful midcentury modern Googie-influenced buildings, has the right idea: for everyday normal people, the plastic straw dispenser is fully loaded, but there is a “paper straws available on request” sign at the cash register, for those wishing to virtue signal their eco-wokeness.

Don’t you love it?  I do. I like every business to do the same sort of thing. For finer dining places where the wait staff passes out the straws, every waiter or waitress should be instructed to pass out plastic straws, but there should also be a glass container with paper straws on every table. This is how it should be labeled:

plastic straw virtue signaling

I wonder how many takers there’d be? Or, perhaps there could simply be two containers on every table, one labeled plastic and the other labeled paper. What would the results be then? The intolerant pseudo-environmentalists and their enablers wouldn’t want that, though. It wouldn’t provide the opportunity to insist others bend to their will and that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?

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6 thoughts on “Is There An Alternative to Plastic Straw Virtue Signaling? Yes, There Is.

  1. There is no need to “ban” plastic straws and single use plastic bags. First of all, there are a number of “loopholes” in the upcoming NY bag ban that make the the law useless and a waste of time and money.
    If individuals are truly concerned about reducing waste, they would turn to paper straws that are superior in quality to those of yesterday. Of course, the “wax” is usually a paraffin, from petroleum based products anyway..so go figure. Either way, it’s sought of a win win but the best win for all would be the removal of virtue signaling politicians… and they know who they are.

  2. China puts 3,000% more plastic into the ocean than the US does. If we could get China down to 2,900%, that would get offset the entire US plastic contribution.

    But, the environmental point is to ban plastic straws in the US. We’re dealing with crazy people here.

  3. I’v said this before but it bears repeating. If they want to ban single use plastic straws, how about banning single use plastic Syringes!!! Somehow I think they’re just a bit more dangerous. Actually Deadly!!

    • Mr. Costell,

      Syringes, you say?
      Mr. Shepstone talks about plastic straws and virtue signalling?
      As the current saying goes … here, hold my beer, and let me tell you about California.

      San Francisco has a $500 fine for people who hand out plastic straws.
      Santa Barbara – just to show they are REALLY serious – has 6 month jail sentences for violators.

      Did I mention that San Francisco hands out- as in FREE – half a million plastic syringes a MONTH … of which about half are discarded in the streets?

      Folks, we are not interacting on a rational level with so many of these Save The Planet types.

      I certainly do not have answers to these issues, but these people are seriously lacking in normal cognitive functions.

      • Great example, Coffeguyzz! The amount of ludicrous political correct posturing these day seems ton be at an all time high. Everything is for show and meaningless. I can only hope we’re reaching that tipping point where the phenomena collapses of it own weight.

        • Tom, as long as there are affluent brain dead people around to buy into such malarkey, it will never collapse. These folks will always have enough to keep snake oil salesmen (and women) employed forevermore.

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