This is the story of a single plastic straw. It’s made of polypropylene, a polymer that doesn’t degrade, doesn’t provide nutrients, and will be around forever, inhabiting what ever environment in which it is left. This straw has a mission, and once its mission is complete, it is tossed aside. It is an afterthought to its previous user, its only user, who has already moved on without a second look at the straw.

This straw is lucky: this straw has made it into garbage bin. Many of other straws just like it never make it this far; they’re simply tossed aside on street corners, in parks, and all around the city, eventually making their way to the ocean. Our lucky straw is lifted from his bin and loaded onto a large truck, taken to a landfill where he meets plenty of other casually-discarded straws.

Soon our straw is picked up by a seagull, scavenging for what it can find amongst the rubbish piles. Plenty of other straws are also picked up, some causing serious harm to the birds. As the seagull with our straw takes flight, it finds itself in the bird’s mouth, again being carried without decomposing. The seagull drops the straw over the ocean, where the straw floats and is carried by the waves. This is where the straw will remain, in the ocean that we all share. The straw will never degrade, only slowly toxifying the water inhabited by many living creatures.

It’s up to us to make sure that this straw is not part of our impact in the future.