Taipei is hot in summer. After sweating an hour, I ordered an iced coffee at 羊毛與花 Youmoutoohana Coffee. To my surprise, it served me a glass of coffee with a metal straw. After sipping coffee through it, I became a huge fan of metal straw. This summer, I will buy and bring a few metal straws to office with me to enjoy coffee more and consume plastics less.
Someone in US also found metal straw stylish and eco-friendly. Bethany Blakeman wrote in her blog,
I keep these in my tote bag (if you are worried about them getting dirty, I suggest a pencil pouch), and whip them up out whenever I’m at a coffee shop. Once at Starbucks, a talkative barista commented on my straw. “Hey, I’m with you,” he told me. “You’d hate to work here. You see how wasteful people are from behind this counter.” I’ll be gifting them to all of my friends for World Oceans Day on June 8.
Chinese government tries hard to reduce plastic waste. Recently, it banned plastic waste import. According to financial times, half of the UK plastic waste need to find alternative places desperately.
In contrast, Chinese people seem to overuse plastics. In Shenzhen, for instance, plates are often wrapped with plastic packages. We should tear it down and throw it away. Sometimes, plastic gloves are provided at the restaurants. We wear the gloves when eating bread.
I suspect Chinese people are addicted to plastics probably because they consider plastics cleaner and safer than water or napkins. If we aim to reduce plastic consumption in China, we should consider the Chinese psychology about plastics seriously.
Recently, Alison Hemphill interviewed with me and posted an article at ANEW organization. We discussed how Koreans reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, reclaim, and/or restore items. In general, these green activities are not widely popular in Korea probably because disposal cost is relatively low. Note that, however, Korean moms reuse and recycle baby/kid items.