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We Can't Let Reuse Be Co-Opted by the Bullshitters

Daniel Velez
Daniel Velez
2 min read

When witnessing a bullshit argument, I tend to scrunch up my face. As if the words I've read smelled bad. In a conversation, one may say, "Excuse me?" which is the polite way to get someone to rethink the shit they said. Since it's text, I re-read the sentence, scrunch up my face, and wave it side to side.

Maybe the word bullshit comes from the, "this stinks," reaction to something ludicrous someone has said. Such as:

""Single-use" items can and should be re-used. No one is forcing us to throw them away. My own daughter re-used a "single-use" plastic straw over 100 times." - Known plastic industry hawk

This was in response to a reusable cup article I posted.

Okay so... (long sigh), here we go.

Single-use plastic straws are designed for... single-use. They suck (I couldn't help myself). They aren't designed for reuse like Final Straws.

Imagine keeping every straw from every cup of water you've ever had at a restaurant.

Large food corporations nudge customers toward desired behaviors. People come to a restaurant, sit down, and get drinks served with plastic straws in them whether they asked for the straw or not. Are we really going to blame everyday people for not stopping the waitress and saying, "I don't need a straw, I saved one from breakfast this morning."

Seriously? We want people to carry used plastic straws in their pockets?

Does the general population share some responsibility for benign plastic use? Absolutely. But blaming them for all the world's urgent environmental problems is awfully convenient for the plastic industry.

Should we also expect every Amazon shopper to upcycle every cardboard box into a flower pot?

It's a bullshit argument.

Saying nobody is forcing people to use single-use items once is like saying nobody is forcing people to shit in a toilet. We, as a society, have norms that we all subconsciously agree to. We may be fined for not following these rules, like indecent exposure or littering.

Reusing single-use items is not reuse.

A single-use plastic straw is meant to be used once. The glass cup the straw is in is meant to be used many times for multiple customers. We all intuitively know what is reusable and what is not. Let's not allow the bullshitters to muddy up the term reuse.


Daniel Velez Twitter

Daniel is building the future of reuse. His last venture, Growly Delivers, delivered local beer in returnable high-tech growlers. What will he do next?


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