Poor plastic. It just can't catch a break right now, whether it's being used to brush your teeth, slurp a milkshake or fire a bullet.
I understand why people are concerned about single-use plastic items (although I would hope toothbrushes are not included in that category) and why an outcry has gone up from the environmentally-conscious crowd.
But it is just plain amusing to me that straws, of all things, are considered the worst offender — or, at least, the one that's easiest to avoid using. Buy a reusable, collapsible straw, and you can save the planet!
Wait — didn't we do that already by switching to reusable shopping bags?
Saving the planet is harder than a game of whack-a-mole.
Maybe we should outlaw all plastic packaging unless it's made out of the same stuff that encloses our laundry detergent. If they can figure out how to package that goo with plastic that dissolves in water, it stands to reason that it could hold other things typically packed in plastic. Frozen pizzas, DVDs, shampoo — oh, wait. That might not hold up well in the shower. Back to the drawing board.
But can you imagine how much easier it would be to open the seemingly impenetrable packaging around electronics, hardware or toys if you could just wash it off?
Of course, then we'd have to outlaw water guns for fear some lunatic would rob a store with one.
Speaking of crime, the fear of putting plans online for 3-D printed guns is just ludicrous, making a mountain out of a molehill.
I mean, you can find out how to build bombs online and you don't hear of people ever doing that in their garage workshops.
Plus, who would go to the trouble of programming a 3-D printer and buying the necessary materials to make a gun with it?
Of course, there will always be a few nutcases.
Great, now we'll have to show ID to get plastic stronger than the over-the-counter stuff, just like our allergy medications.
If you're still concerned, just rest assured that once Pinterest gets ahold of those 3-D gun plans, no one will ever be able to make it come out anything like the picture.
I'm not even worried about them being smuggled through airport security. If the TSA can sniff out my plastic-enclosed toothpaste, a plastic gun shouldn't ever be a problem. Nope, that system is practically perfect.
Then there's the fact that no amount of camouflage paint, pin striping or bedazzling will make plastic guns look less dorky. They wouldn't pass muster on the most low-budget film set. And no true criminal would be caught dead with one of those shoved in his shorts. He'd be laughed out of any gang.
So let's all pledge to use 3-D printers as they were originally intended — the perfect way to make figurines of trademarked fictional characters, pour pancake batter and customize accessories for our pets.
Reusable straws are not a bad idea (though I don't think I'll buy them for stocking stuffers this Christmas) and cutting back on landfill-clogging items is a worthwhile pursuit, but let's not lose sight of the big picture. People are more important than things. Don't plastic-shame your friends and family — or that poor server at Applebee's. Any lasting change will be slow to occur.
Save the planet, sure, but don't be obnoxious about it. Make sure it's a mole you're whacking, not a fellow player.