Have you heard about this thing called plastic? Well apparently there’s more of the stuff choking up rivers, seabeds and the digestive tracts of birds that there is shit spewing from the mouth of Jacob Rees-Mogg. And that’s a lot. Seriously. Have you heard the twat? He look like a Staedtler 2B pencil in a suit and sounds like he should be instructing a class of Fauntleroys on their Catullus prep.
But I digress. Plastic. In one of those crashing moments of awareness the human race very occasionally enjoys – like when you cringe at the memory of an ill-advised Snapchat – we’ve realised that covering the world in tiny fibres of indestructible, toxin-attracting baked oil might have been A Bad Thing after all. Turns out there’s not a lot of demand for eating microbeads, given our position at the top of the foodchain, after all. Who’d’ve thunk.
Plastic is toxic in more ways that one and it’s agreed that, for the last 50 years or so, we pretty much got that one wrong. See also: when we thought we’d seen the last of racism, the class system and voting for politicians who actively want to kill – or fuck (or kill and fuck) – everyone.
Now, plastics have their uses and we’ve built our world around them, to the potential benefit of the odd tree. But take a look around you and, if you’re one of the unlucky few to be blessed with things such as brains and empathy, you’ll realise that we’ve seriously fucked up.
How else to explain the concept of single-use, well, anything? Single-use coffee cups, plastic bags, Tindr dates? And then perhaps the most egregious thing the human race ever invented – far worse than nuclear weapons, Nando’s or even Philip Schofield – the straw.
The straw, ladies and gentlemen, is the single-most, stupid and evil thing ever invented. If you drink through a straw you inflate your guts like Violet Beauregard. You also look about seven years old. And then you throw them away, at which point they find themselves on landfills, in canals – then out into our oceans and to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which contains more hazardous shit that MailOnline.
Some say there’ll be more plastic than fish in the seas within a couple of decades; others that plastic is already part of our food chain and is probably resting in our stomachs, alongside other poisonous shit from McDonalds, Haribo and Subway. And all because you wanted a stupid bloody straw in your Screaming Orgasm.
It’s odd then, given the catastrophic situation, that the new advert for Robinsons Refresh’d – you can tell it’s for cool kids because it has an apostrophe, the coolest of all punctuation marks – features a straw zooming around the biosphere destroying organic matter, as if Britvic wanted to create a visual metaphor for what plastic is doing to our environment.
— Sue (@MrsWhitters) May 3, 2018
Said straw flies out of a young lady’s drink and vanishes off into the countryside, where it wraps itself around a tree as if strangling it, then pulverises a bunch of harmless fruit before ending up in a stream. If only Robinsons had thought to show the plucky straw’s journey ending in the nose of sea turtle it would have amounted to a pretty good exploration of the insanity of things you couldn’t possible need, use once and throw away.
Some would say the Robinsons Refresh’d advert is apt for our singularly idiotic times. I suspect it’s more evidence that the grinding wheels of business simply do not care unless their bottom line is damaged. Sometimes advertising is more truthful than you might think.