Ditching plastic straws is a good start, but the world is still buried in garbage

Environmentalists praised Starbucks’ announcement this week that it will stop using plastic straws within two years, and it’s indeed a laudable move.

It also barely makes a dent in the global trash crisis.

This is the part of our gotta-have-it consumer culture that people would rather not think about — what to do with the mountains of waste generated by our need to possess the best, the latest, the most buzzed-about products.

Simply put, we’re running out of places to safely throw stuff away, and we’ve turned our oceans and waterways into sludge buckets for some of the most toxic materials imaginable.

“We have a global contamination issue,” said Chelsea Rochman, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto. “Our mismanagement of waste has come back to haunt us.”

A big part of the problem, she told me, is that most people take an out-of-sight-out-of-mind approach to garbage.

Read the entire article at LAtimes.com