Straws

Anti-Straw Activists Are Now Trying to Get Rid of Plastic Straw Emojis

Environmental group Lonely Whale and Bacardi have teamed up to fight the little "straw in cup" symbol.

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Mochipet/Dreamstime.com

If you're experiencing extreme nausea, it's possible you've drunk a little too much Bacardi rum. Alternatively, you might have just stumbled across Bacardi's new campaign to eliminate the drinking straw from your favorite emojis.

On Friday, Bacardi, along with anti-straw activist group Lonely Whale, launched their new "The Future Doesn't Suck" campaign, with the goal of eliminating a billion plastic straws by the year 2020.

The first stop toward achieving this goal is apparently to ditch those little cocktail emojis that, very problematically, also depict the now verboten drinking utensil.

To that end, Bacardi has released a "cease and de-sip" letter written from the perspective of Sydney the Sea Turtle to the Unicode Consortium—a nonprofit that helps to standardize graphic displays of characters and symbols across different operating systems—asking that the two straw-depicting emojis included in the current Unicode ("Tropical Drink" and "Cup With Straw") be axed.

"Listen, big fan of the diverse ocean life representation in emojis—but we need to talk. The thing is, everyone below sea level thinks you guys suck," writes Sydney in an emoji-peppered message. "I'm sure you know that in America alone, millions of single-use plastic straws are used every day and most of those end up in my backyard. Outside of the fact that they're taking up valuable real estate down here, they are also—quite literally—killing us."

Bacardi and Lonely Whale also released a video version of this letter read by comedian Daniel Franzese, as well as the new hashtag #thefuturedoesntsuck.

The celebrity endorsement and hashtag campaign are typical of previous Lonely Whale-backed efforts. Notably missing is the statistic the group once frequently touted about Americans using 500 million straws a day. That's been replaced by a less specific "millions" a day.

That figure—which has appeared in news reports, advertising campaigns, federal government press releases, and municipal straw ban legislation—has mercifully started to fall out of circulation after the reliability of its source (a phone survey by a 9-year-old) was called into question.

(It's still possible that Americans use 500 million straw emojis a day, though.)

Bacardi and Lonely Whale's campaign is obviously meant to be playful and funny, so one shouldn't judge its ridiculousness too harshly. Nevertheless, its very existence seems to refute one of the major justifications for banning plastic straws in the first place.

One study estimated that straws are about .02 percent of annual marine plastic waste. Getting rid of them will do almost nothing to solve the admittedly very serious problem of marine plastic pollution. That would seem to make the focus on the plastic suckers a bit silly.

Not so, says Lonely Whale, which often argues that plastic straws are a "gateway plastic"—an item so ubiquitous yet inessential that their elimination will be impossible to ignore but be neither irritating nor inconveniencing. Their noticeable disappearance (either through private pressure campaigns or public prohibition) will then inspire people to cut more plastic out of their lives, and think more seriously about other ways they might address the problem of global plastic pollution.

Instead, what the campaign to eliminate straw emojis suggests is that the focus on banning plastic straws is actually just getting dumber over time, as activist groups focus on even less consequential things to eliminate.

Indeed, I'm not even sure the anti-emoji campaign works as symbolism, as there's really no reason to assume that the emojis Lonely Whale and Bacardi are calling out depict problematic plastic straws. A little creative reimagining, and we could just pretend that these emojis have been using paper straws all along.

That wouldn't necessarily be less stupid, but it would be less effort. It would also have the exact same effect on the world's plastic-filled oceans.

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108 responses to “Anti-Straw Activists Are Now Trying to Get Rid of Plastic Straw Emojis

  1. Then they came after the emoji.

    1. As well they should. The carbon footprint of all those fuckers just boggles the mind!

    2. They can have my gun emoji when they pry it from my, cold, banned Twitter account.

      1. *water gun

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  2. I must say, I didn’t expect Iconoclasts to make a comeback. And even then, I wouldn’t have thought it would be for such inane reasons.

  3. As far as I can tell, this campaign has zero traction.

    1. You haven’t been to a national park in the last year, have you? They pulled all straws from the concession stands about a week after that 4th grader said we threw a trillion straws a year into the ocean in the US alone.

    2. The Peoples Republic of California is all over this. You must ask for a straw in a restaurant if you want one, otherwise the server gets fined. I don’t know if alcoholic drinks are exempt, but bars still seem to keep plastic straws in the boxes on the bar as usual. Margaritas and the like are always served with a straw (for now, anyway).

      Some places are really into it. Ever try to drink a Coke with ice in paper cup, no lid an no straw?

      1. When a dirty hippie has a stupid idea like this, they need to receive a savage beating for opening their mouth.

        Beating a dirty hippie is always the right call.

        1. As a libertarian, I too appreciate the suppression of ideas, whatever the source. Why bother arguing the merits or faults of an idea when you can just suppress it outright? Keep up the good fight, brother.

          1. He’s a shitlord; it’s what they do. I’d be pretty disappointed if self-proclaimed shitlord wasn’t living up to his title. Top shitlording, LotS, carry on.

          2. If only the left kept it as an idea.
            They have a severe tendency to take their ideas and combine them with gov’t’s lethal force.

        2. No, even beating them is granting them far more importance than they are due. The right call when dealing with the Deranged Left is to arrange for society to ignore them. They would HATE that. They exist for the attention they get with their antics.

          Also, there is another kind of ’60’s leftover (or neo’60’s) that eats its granola, smokes its herb, and generally minds its own goddamned business, and they look a lot alike. These Hippies LIKE being left alone, so you can treat both kinds the same and really torture the harmful ones. while pleasing the harmless.

      2. Margaritas and the like are always served with a straw (for now, anyway).

        Why . . . why would you serve a margarita with a straw? Do they think the salt is decorative?

  4. “Where did the plastic straw touch you? Here, use this doll. Point on the doll where the straw touched you”

    1. I’ve seen enough medical sounding videos to know where this is going.

      1. “Nah, ignore the camera. That’s just for evidence. Show me how the straw touched you. Would you rather touch me instead of the doll?….”

      2. It’s up the urethra, isn’t it

  5. Yeah this is dumb on all levels.

  6. >>>is obviously meant to be playful and funny,

    no, not obviously … not a story if obviously

    1. Also, I remain unconvinced that the ‘marine plastic polluition’ problem isn’t only very serious because statists will use it as a very serious excuse to very seriously fuck with people.

  7. Newspeak requires that all words that could be used for wrongthink be eliminated. If emojis were around then, they would have been included in the book.

  8. We live in a world where retards walk among us and have way too much time on their hands.

    1. But enough about the commentariat.

  9. Canceled straw manufacturing workers can learn to code and then come up with their own emojis.

    1. You have no idea how true this is.

    2. Who will join me in a Straw Across America, to join plastic straws to create one giant long straw spanning from coast to coast, in a bid to stand up against this tyranny?

      1. Meeeee. Absolutely getter done. I’m so down.

      2. Only if we then dump it in the ocean.

      3. Please count me in. I’m good for as many straws as it takes to span the width of my entire yard here at 619 E. Mendenhall Street.

  10. Fuck off Anti-Straw Activists

    From my cold dead hands !!!

    1. Each time I read one of these ridiculous articles about plastic straws, I go out an buy a huge bundle of them. I’m taking a few to the happy hunting grounds with me when I check out. In the meantime, I carry a plastic one with me wherever I go, so that I don’t have to put up with the politically correct paper shit.

      1. Do the same with disposable plastic bags if you live in a jurisdiction where they are banned.

        You can order disposable plastic bags in bulk from China for much less per bag than the local gov’t charges.

        This is a huge middle finger to the gov’t (who wants the tax), the eco-fascists (green on the outside, red on the inside), the reusable bag manufacturers (who profit from forcing people to buy reusable bags), AND the protectionists who love the trade war against China.

  11. Suck my organic straw and die.

    1. Penis jokes are a form of toxic masculinity and sexual terrorism. Carry on.

  12. Everyday it’s fake news while they bitch about being called fake news.

  13. “Not so, says Lonely Whale, which often argues that plastic straws are a “gateway plastic”?an item so ubiquitous yet inessential that their elimination will be impossible to ignore but be neither irritating nor inconveniencing. Their noticeable disappearance (either through private pressure campaigns or public prohibition) will then inspire people to cut more plastic out of their lives, and think more seriously about other ways they might address the problem of global plastic pollution.”

    Actually, the ban is a “gateway regulation”.

    1. I dunno, man. I used to avoid using plastic, good for the environment and all. You know? Then one day they gave me a straw with my Filet-o-Fish meal. Just one straw. And I…..well, I liked it. It was oddly enthralling. I don’t really understand how it progressed, but I soon found myself choosing “plastic” at the grocery store and after I emptied the bags I’d walk down to the lake and throw the bags at the turtles. After a few days I saw one of the turtles walking around with one of my bags caught in its beak. And I laughed. Best laugh I’ve had in years. I, I, I…can’t explain it. It just happened…?.

      1. Good! That’s GOOD!

      2. Oh My Gawd, bevis! Your story is so compelling and sad. Hang in there, big guy … it’ll get better some day.

      3. LOLOLOLOL

    2. Actually, the ban is a “gateway regulation”.

      Feature, not a bug.

  14. I wish they had gone after the emoji first. That would have kept them busy for a few years.

  15. As an actual adult, that never used an emoji, they can get rid of them all.

    1. Word. Use your words.

  16. Going after the Unicode Consortium also shows how unserious they are. The Unicode Consortium doesn’t define the glyphs at all. It just defines the code points to interchange data. If they wanted to change the glyphs, they’d need to convince Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other OS developers to change their glyphs, but that would take actual work. Lobbying Unicode is good for some media coverage but won’t accomplish anything.

    1. I read that as the Unicorn Consortium, which is sort of fitting…. they can be an anti-Unicorn Committee and chase after other non-threats, like smiley faces and such

      1. Now that all the world’s actual problems are solved, the sky’s the limit for new and exciting projects! What will they ban next? Maybe sea water to make it easier to clean the oceans?

  17. Can’t believe no one has asked Master Shake for his hot take.

  18. I celebrate every Earth Day by burning an old tire filled with used motor oil. I will now add to my celebration and strew assault straws hither and you.

    At least, that’s what I’ll tell the nut jobs.

  19. Hey Bacardi, go fuck yourself with a sharp stick. Never buying your swill again.

  20. If Anti-Straw Activists want to ban plastic straws the quickest way to do so would be to back the progressive destruction of the oil industry. Without crude oil there would not be very much plastic. No plastic no plastic straws. That would kill two birds (really many more than two birds) with one stone.

    1. I’d bet that most plastic is not, in fact, oil based. *heads over to wikipedia* Huh, oil based is the most common.
      “Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass and often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, however, an array of variants are made from renewable materials such as polylactic acid from corn or cellulosics from cotton linters.[2]”

  21. If Anti-Straw Activists want to ban plastic straws the quickest way to do so would be to back the progressive destruction of the oil industry. Without crude oil there would not be very much plastic. No plastic no plastic straws. That would kill two birds (really many more than two birds) with one stone.

    1. Not to mention the world’s economy.

    2. I’m not interested in sitting in the cold and dark with no straw.

  22. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. This is all because of some bullshit a grade school student made up for a science project, right?

    1. That’s my understanding. But it was then reported in a newspaper of high repute.

      1. Same newspaper that reported things like the certainty that Trump was going to fire Mueller in order to stop discovery of his collusion with Russian hacking?

    2. If they could only put all this energy into some trashcans and education in the Phillippines, it would have a much more significant impact.

  23. Anyone have suggestions for a decent light rum? I used to buy Bacardi but I have no interest in supporting this kind of idiocy.

    1. The guy by me sells Calypso for $10.99 a gallon.

    2. Captain Morgan spiced rum and Dr. Pepper (not the diet crap) is all you really need.

    3. Kraken? Or just start drinking Mezcal like I do.

      1. I thought that was a nice touch for the Netflix Marvel Elektra; accentuate the rich eurotrash angle by giving her a Bond-style drink-ordering catchphrase.

        “Tequila. Mezcal if you have it.”

  24. It is going to come out in a few years that the straw stuck in the turtles nose video was staged. Part of an elaborate conspiracy to generate simpathy for the anti plastic movement.

  25. It is going to come out in a few years that the straw stuck in the turtles nose video was staged. Part of an elaborate conspiracy to generate simpathy for the anti plastic movement.

  26. It is going to come out in a few years that the straw stuck in the turtles nose video was staged. Part of an elaborate conspiracy to generate simpathy for the anti plastic movement.

  27. It is going to come out in a few years that the straw stuck in the turtles nose video was staged. Part of an elaborate conspiracy to generate simpathy for the anti plastic movement.

    1. The squirrels put it there.

  28. In Canadian news

    “A bronze statue of Queen Victoria in front of McGill’s Strathcona Music Building in downtown Montreal was covered in green paint Saturday night.

    “A group calling itself the Delhi-Dublin Anti-Colonial Solidarity Brigade has claimed responsibility for the action….

    “While the Brigade would prefer to see the pieces archived in museums, S?amus Singh said maybe this time could be the exception.

    “”As long as it remains vandalized with green paint, with Queen Victoria’s head in a hood, it can stay up,” he said.”

  29. S?amus Singh? They’ll be after my Lucky Snake Charmers.

  30. But the emoji straws are paper.

  31. This assumes that the emoji straws are plastic. How can they tell?

  32. I don’t see how I could have missed this last month:

    Confused husband buys wife turnips instead of tulips

    “Allan Harris admitted he wasn’t paying close attention to his wife’s words and thought she was asking for turnips for her garden.

    “”I went and got the bucket and put the turnips in the bucket that says ‘I love you’ on it,” Allan Harris said. “I went in there, got her coffee — and here you go!””

    1. The press will do their best to make this story relevant again, anything to distract from the recent embarrassing events

  33. Ex-inmate used T-shirt launcher to send drugs over prison fence: cops

    “A just-released inmate is accused of sending a care package filled with drugs, cellphones and headphones flying into an Oklahoma prison yard ? with the help of a T-shirt launcher.

    “The accused bootlegger allegedly used the clothing cannon to shoot the contraband ? which also included meth, digital scales, marijuana and tobacco ? over the fence March 10, forcing the prison to go on lockdown.”

  34. (This might end up at Reason because FIRE and the ACLU are involved)

    Ex-LSU professor’s firing over classroom profanity, sex life discussions affirmed by appeals court

    “Teresa Buchanan, a tenured professor who specialized in early childhood education and trained elementary school teachers, had appealed U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick’s January 2018 dismissal of her civil rights lawsuit.

    “The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Friday with Dick that LSU did not violate Buchanan’s free speech rights by firing her because she was not speaking on a matter of public concern.

    “”We agree with the district court here that Dr. Buchanan’s use of profanity and discussion of her sex life and the sex lives of her students was not related to the subject matter or purpose of training Pre-K-Third grade teachers,” Circuit Judge Jacques Wiener Jr. wrote for a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based court….

    “Dick pointed out in her ruling that the LSU Lab School and schools in Zachary, Port Allen and Iberville Parish had either banned Buchanan from their campuses or requested that LSU not allow her to mentor their student teachers due to her conduct and speech.”

  35. Man convicted for bizarre North Bay (California) kidnapping pleads not guilty to state charges of rape, kidnapping

    “Muller, 40, pleaded guilty and was convicted of the federal kidnapping charge. The Solano County District Attorney’s Office filed the state charges against him on Jan. 26.

    “Muller pleaded not guilty Monday to kidnapping for ransom, two forcible rapes, first-degree robbery of an inhabited dwelling, first-degree residential burglary and false imprisonment by violence….

    “The nationally publicized saga involving Denise Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn included a defamation of character lawsuit they filed against the Vallejo Police Department after police said the kidnapping was a hoax. Police later apologized to the couple.”

    1. How is this not double jeopardy?

  36. Ex-priest who molested boys in N.J. fired from Dominican Republic school

    “DeFrias, 47, told NBC News that he is also a bishop at a “progressive Celtic church” and is no longer a threat to children.”

    1. Presumably one of those goofy splinter churches that have more priests than laymen.

  37. Happy Seward’s Day, Alaska state government workers!

    “Monday, March 25 is Seward’s Day, the uniquely Alaska day that allows State of Alaska workers a day off on the last Monday of every March to enjoy time with their families and friends. It’s one of the unique benefits afforded to State workers, along with a 37.5 hour work week.”

    1. yeah, but I hear they get gypped on sunlight in the winter — the days are shorter!

  38. Too hot for them – ice-cold saboteurs and wreckers flee from the People’s Republic of California to join other capitalist-roader emigres

    “NASHVILLE, Tenn. ? ICEE, the more than half century old frozen beverage maker known for its cherry and coca-cola flavored slushies, announced at the end of February that the company will move its corporate headquarters from Ontario, Calif., located 37 miles west of Los Angeles, to La Vergne, Tenn., a town situated 20 miles southeast of Nashville….

    “It’s not just California where people and businesses are fleeing onerous state tax and regulatory burdens. As Jonathan Williams, chief economist at the American Legislative Exchange Council, points out, there is a net outflow of people and employers from high-tax states like California, Illinois, Connecticut, and New York. People are taking their families, businesses, and incomes with them to states like Tennessee, Utah, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida.”

    1. 37 miles west of Los Angeles is in the Pacific Ocean.

  39. Next they can team up to ban cartoon guns, and people blowing fake smoke off their fingers like they are gun barrels.

  40. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no emojis in which to express it.”

  41. up to I saw the bank draft of $7781, I did not believe that my best friend was like they say actually taking home money in there spare time from there new laptop.. there uncle started doing this 4 only 22 months and at present cleared the loans on there mini mansion and purchased Dodge. this is where I went,

  42. Start making cash online working from home .I have received $18954 last month by working online from home in my spare time. I am a full time college student and just doing this job in part time just for 3 hrs a day. Everybody can get this and makes extra dollars online from home by just copy and paste this website and follow details… http://www.home.jobs89.com

  43. We could reduce plastics in the ocean by over 60% by simply nuking Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and China back to the stone age.

    Think of the turtles.

  44. the admittedly very serious problem of marine plastic pollution.

    No, I don’t admit the problem is serious. The science is not settled.

  45. Same reasoning my j-frame emoji because a george jetson looking lime green water pistol. Sigh. People really have too much time on their hands that they care to make an issue of this stuff.

  46. Most of the straw problem comes from the far east which makes the anti-straw campaign obviously racist in nature. I wonder why no one points this out.

  47. I’m sure Bacardi’s involvement has nothing to do with the fact that people tend to drink faster without a straw

  48. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

  49. What will meatwad and frylock do?

  50. We humans as a whole are F-n idiots.

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