Plastic bashing has reached a tipping point. Virtue signallers do not present viable alternatives. They show they care more by saying they hate __________ and voila ! The hater has instant moral high ground.
Hatred for plastics yields a double bump. Plastic not only pollutes. It is derived from evil fracked fossil fuels.
Fear of plastic haters can lead to bad decisions.
Virtue signalling is nothing new. In the middle ages advertising virtuosity took many forms such as vows of chastity and flagellation.
Today protest marchers gain instant acceptance.
There is a sinister Machiavellian aspect. In France, militant vegans vandalize property because they believe their lofty ends justify their means. They are effective. Proof is they have coerced 125 companies to raise their poultry free range.
In the US, jail time has been proposed for serving straws without customer request.
The truth in the ad hominem attacks on us plastic straw men is not relevant. It's all about perception. The net result of plastic bag bans is use of more fossil fuels, more pollution and more trees being cut down. No matter. Municipalities want to be percieved as environmentally correct. The reduction of polypropylene usage from straw bans is not even a rounding error. ( It is interesting to note that Braskem which sold the world a bill of goods with their "green" polypropylene and polyethylene derived from sugar cane is setting up shop in LaPorte, TX to make a billion pounds a year of polypropylene. The feedstock ? Fracked natural gas, of course ! The CEO actually praised the U S feedstock situation as a major factor. )
There was a lot of hysteria over epoxy can linings a few years ago. There was nothing to it. In reaction to the unfounded allegations, some major food companies switched to alternatives which turned out to be worse. Far as I can tell, the NGO's did not issue an apology or statement. The locusts just move on to another target.
The conventional wisdom about the five gyres is that the US has a solid alibi.