Latest Issue

Want to really clean up the ocean? It will take more than a ban on plastic straws

We should all do what we can to live more sustainably. But the complex operations needed to clean up our oceans will require effort from governments and companies—not just individuals

By Lizzie Huxley-Jones  

It is 2018, and plastic straws are the enemy of all that is good. Or at least that’s how it feels.

In the wake of Blue Planet 2’s pleas for reduced plastic use and a distressing viral video of a turtle with a straw lodged in its head, single-use straws have become a favourite target of the environmental movement.

The rhetoric is broadly familiar, rehashing the arguments against plastic bags that led…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect