Legoland Bans Plastic Drinking Straws, to Protect the Environment from Plastic Waste

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t CFACT – Legoland has demonstrated their commitment to reducing the global burden of waste plastic, with a token ban of plastic drinking straws.

Legoland will discontinue use of plastic straws

By Gary White
Posted Nov 27, 2018 at 5:10 PM
Updated Nov 27, 2018 at 5:10 PM

Merlin Entertainments, corporate owner of the Legoland parks, recently announced that it will phase out the use of plastic straws at all of its attractions by the end of 2018.

Legoland Florida Resort is committed to helping the environment wherever possible,” Legoland spokesman Shawn Mikus said by email. “The park is currently phasing out all single-use plastic straws, and by Dec. 31, there will not be any single-use plastic straws or plastic lids in the park.

After Dec. 31, Legoland will use paper straws, which will be available upon request. Mikus said plastic straws will still be available by request for guests with specific paper allergies or dietary restrictions.

Merlin Entertainments has already eliminated plastic straws at its attractions in Australia and New Zealand and at Chessington World of Adventures in the United Kingdom, as reported by Business Green. Merlin operates more than 120 theme parks and tourist attractions worldwide, in addition to 18 hotels and six villages in 25 countries.

Read more: https://www.theledger.com/news/20181127/legoland-will-discontinue-use-of-plastic-straws

I’m shocked – how can a company like lego continue to use or produce *any* plastic products? Scientists tell us plastic degradation emits greenhouse gasses, and creates micro plastic pollution which probably hurts dolphins.

A token ban on plastic drinking straws simply isn’t good enough, for a company of green conscience which manufactures vast quantities of plastic products. Lego’s products are less than essential to the global economy. They could fall on their corporate sword, and immediately cease production of ecocidal plastic products.

Alternatively they could grow a pair, and call out the plastic scare for the nonsense it is.

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122 thoughts on “Legoland Bans Plastic Drinking Straws, to Protect the Environment from Plastic Waste

  1. Considering the whole plastic straw controversy is based on a report by a 9 year old, it is typical of the green blob–panic, a urge to “do something”, with no bothering to determine if the threat was either real or consequential.

    • Actually the kid has a point – paper straws are better!

      Back in public school, paper straws were used as blow-dart guns – you chewed off one end, gummed it into a wet slimy ball, and shot your buddy from across the school room – Pa-tak!

      If you gummed the projectile enough, it stuck to his head and a drip of saliva would roll down his neck. Gross Magic!

      [In the days before flu shots, this is how immunization worked.]

  2. lol.
    Perhaps they might prefer to take the lead and make all their products out of wood or steel instead of plastic?
    And sell them for the same price, of course.

    • When my daughter was in preschool, she smacked a boy with a Lego block. 🤕 They’re still friends at 30 something.
      I think a stainless steel Lego would have had a “worser” effect, but the thought makes me giggle.

    • Nah, can’t use wood, it would require cutting down too many trees and affect the carbon sink. Rock would be better

  3. A small remark: straws are mainly made from PE (polyethylene) which floats on water and are (slowly) biodegradable in sunlight.

    Lego building blocks are made of ABS (acrylonytril-butadiene-styrene copolymer), which sinks in water and is very resistant to sunlight – many of the structures built in Legoland (Billund, Denmark) stand there in open air for decades without problems…

    Anyway, they should be aware that for some activists all types of (oil based) plastics should be banned, without looking at the environmental drawbacks of the alternatives: “natural” products like coated paper used for coffee cups and now straws are hardly recyclable, because of the coating and I haven’t seen any study about their fate if thrown away in nature…

        • Yes, bound together by epoxy.

          Note that plastic straws are recyclable. Plastic coated paper straws are not. This is the same as replacing 100% recyclable polystyrene foam clamshell food boxes with plastic coated paper boxes. In both cases, the green blob sees only the paper article and claims victory. They probably are unaware that metal cans are plastic coated as well. I suppose next they will insist on replacing ostemy bags with paper.

          We are now living in the Caribbean. All trash is problematic. There is no recycling and few options for disposal. We carry reusable containers to restaurants, food vendors, and markets. Most Caribbean islands are starting to prohibit all single use plastic containers. You must bring your own bags to the open markets. Many items are stocked in mass, no packaging.

          • A local restaurant chain here in Johannesburg is using paper straws – but uncoated. My wife tells me (being a beer drinker myself) that the TASTE of recycled paper basically makes one think immediately of toilet rolls… So THAT bunch is off the menu…

    • (acrylonytril-butadiene-styrene copolymer) Sounds like a chemical cocktail when you put it that way. Oh, wait, it is a chemical cocktail. 🙂

      (Love it when the chemical structure of common items is presented. It probably explodes the heads of greens when they find out just how “chemical” life is. Not to mention how non-pesticide free organic produce is!)

      • Osage oranges (known as bodark apples here in Oklahoma) release a natural pest repellant as they ripen that’s more effective than many manmade pesticides. Old timey farm families would roll them under their beds to keep spiders and scorpions at bay. They’re unfortunately not fit for human consumption, though cattle sometimes acquire a taste for them.

  4. Ever use a paper straw with your glass beverage? I did once at The Outback restaurant and found it to be a frustrating experience. The paper expands while soaking in the beverage and actually plugged up the inner opening of the straw so it was no longer usable. I had to ask for another paper straw that I tried resting along the glass rim of the glass inbetween sips but it keep on rolling off and fell onto the table. Due to that paper straw bad experience I have not returned to that restaurant. In addition, Legos are 100% plastic in their main money making product, so it seems laughable that they are no longer using plastic straws in their theme parks. It’s like a Global Warming convention that has its participants use private jets and limousines to get there then decide to use paper straws to save the world. If Lego really wants to make a difference then make their money making product out of non-fossil fuel components, and allow me to use a plastic straw in Legoland!

    • Early this year me and the family were in England, a place we stayed at in Brighten (Blighton?) their Pub did not use plastic straws. Instead you put a deposit on a stainless steel one. They would wash them.
      If you are going to dispense with plastic straws use something that works. We had no problem with the steel straws .

      michael

  5. More armchair climate activism. Kind of like all the Hollywood actors who are also on the climate bandwagon but continue to profit from their own CO2 spewing industry. In these dire times where the climate apocalypse is just around the corner shouldn’t a frivolous industry like Hollywood shut its doors for the sake of humanity? I’m sure Mr. Dicaprio will take lead, resign, sell his mansions, move into a small bungalow and give his wealth to the cause.

  6. Many containers of Lego must have been lost at sea – one in 1997 had 4.8 million pieces in it, and lego has been washing up on UK beaches ever since.

    Ban Lego!

  7. Just another Ready, Shoot, Aim from the GreenBlob. I wonder what the unintended consequences for this folly will be.

    • The definition of pain is to inadvertently kneel on a piece when playing with the kids – been there and got the badge. Let them use wood instead.

      Why can’t we have an eco-friendly Lego nuclear power station kit?

      • Lincoln Logs could cause falls back in the ’60s when stepped on.
        It all comes down to picking up your toys,kids (per Granny, 1963)…

  8. A main reason for the change to plastic straws is that paper straws collapse under the pressure of trying to suck up a thickshake. As people moved to the thicker consistency drinks, stronger straws were needed and the plastic ones did the job that paper ones could not.

    Unless the consistency of the drinks changes, I think we’ll see plastic straws quietly being brought back.

  9. It is easier to carry around a reusable straw (eg a length of stainless steel tube) that a reusable coffee beaker, but apart from infants, who needs a straw to drink with anyway?

    • I actually like straws, and it’s not really up to some progressive greenie asshole to decide it for me.

    • who needs a straw to drink with anyway?

      I used to think that until I moved to Australia. Here they seem to put an unusual amount of ice in soft drinks. That makes them quite awkward to drink without a straw.

      • Ice is cheaper to make. If you are talking about Mac Donalds you can ask for less ice and more drink.

        • Most drinks are dispensed cold or the can/bottle is stored in a fridge. Why water down an already cold drink with ice? I aleays specify no ice when ordering. Does mean that i can use those self service things if I want a cold drink, however for me the drink of choice is British Tea with no sugar.

    • Who? Lots of elderly and handicapped. After several strokes, the only way my late mother in law could eat was through a straw. My buddy who may have Bell’s Palsy also needs a straw to drink.

    • The original market for soda straws was sport fans. A straw lets you take a drink without taking your eyes off the game.

    • Quite a few of the elderly residents of care homes use straws – plastic bendy ones as they cannot sit straight in bed or chairs. Similar with hospitals. And I am not looking forward to the first report of a child falling on a metal straw. I wonder who would be responsible for the damage – the company that made it or the greenblob who demanded it?

  10. To be fair to Lego, plastic straws are single use, which I get. I replace my washing machine now because it’s cheaper than calling out a guy to repair it. That’s not right, but they are so cheap now almost everyone can afford them, which is a good thing. But old fashioned laundries have all but disappeared from our high streets, yet I wonder if they were a more efficient use of resources than every house having a machine.

    My kids had years of pleasure, as did I as a child, from Lego. Mine was probably thrown away after 10 years, there was no real concept of reusing stuff in the late 60’s early 70’s. My kids Lego was sold at a school fair for pennies so some less fortunate kids could also enjoy them. That was only 10 years ago or so.

    And yes, we donated the proceeds of that Capitalist transaction to charity however, we saw market stall traders in the school snapping up everything they could get, to sell for personal profit. That’s nasty Capitalism.

    • old fashioned laundries have all but disappeared from our high streets, yet I wonder if they were a more efficient use of resources than every house having a machine.

      More efficient, sure. More convenient (for most), absolutely not.

      Not that long ago, public baths were still in use in England (not swimming baths, baths for washing). I’m sure that was more efficient, but nobody wants to go back there.

      • Zig Zag Wanderer

        Communal baths are highly sought after in Bath, surprisingly.

        The western world has an obsession with cleanliness. Perhaps because we’re stuck in confined spaces with lot’s of other people.

        I used to shower daily, lots of soap and products, until my skin began drying out, particularly my bald pate.

        Now I shower twice a week with minimal soap. No more dry skin, no more flaking scalp, and no one remarks that I smell, and I live in a house with a wife and two daughters who would tell me the minute I do. I would happily go to a communal bath twice a week and spend a relaxing half hour bathing while discussing current events, including climate change, with others.

        I find that a more appealing prospect than jumping under a shower for 5 minutes before getting dressed and bolting for the door, toast in hand, for yet another futile business meeting.

        But I’m an old geezer now so I guess I can afford that luxury.

    • My time is more valuable to me.
      I can load the machine, then do any of a number of tasks around the house while waiting for the load to finish.

      Don’t forget the energy required to drive to the laundromat and back.

      • MarkW

        Don’t forget the energy required to drive to the laundromat and back

        How did I know someone was going to say that.

        Laundries used to be very local, at least in the UK. One could walk there easily, get some exercise and engage in some conversation.

        You do your laundry, load the dishwasher, do the vacuuming, pop on and off WUWT, and perhaps miss the beauty of social interaction. Perhaps not you personally but there are millions of westerners wedded to their automated lifestyles they are slaves to within the confines of their houses.

        No wonder there’s mental health issues these days. People rarely take the time to talk to neighbours other than an occasional “good morning” over a hedge.

        All very old fashioned I know, and to be honest, I have rarely indulged, but I now recognise that communities are splintering for the lack of communal ‘luxuries’.

  11. Is there any way to trace where this plastic drinking straw meme started originally? Call me cynical, but I’d bet money on a paper/wheat/eco alternative manufacturing company/vested interest being behind it.

    • https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/07/18/anti-straw-movement-based-unverified-statistic-500-million-day/750563002/

      All started, supposedly by a 9 year old kid noticing many people took straws at fast food restaurants but never used them, causing them to be thrown out. Then he “researched” plastic straw manufacturers to get annual production and “since they are one use” he then assumed they all ended up in the ocean! And, since plastic straws float, they become obvious in the floating islands of plastic we hear so much about. Never mind that they also provide mid-ocean habitats fort many marine organisms. Now in CHINA and INDIA, dumping of plastic waste in the ocean this may well be true, but in most Western Countries, including the US and Canada, they end up in landfills, not the ocean.

      • The interesting thing is that the kid did not suggest paper straws, he wanted the restaurants to ask if a straw was wanted, thus reducing waste regardless of what the straw was made from.

        Just serving the drink without a straw and having a box of straws for people to help themselves is the simple option.

  12. Now that there’s right regular funny Eric and many thanks for it. Just announced your snippet of news to the assembled bar denizens here in a Wiltshire pub. Blank stares –> click –> whirrrr –> _____ –> Bwaaaahaaa!!

  13. Ban all plastic and instead use wood.Then the Greens will complain about us chopping down the trees.

    Does not matter what we or rather our “Leaders” do, the Greens will object. They want to destroy the economy, as long as it does not affect them.

    So why do our politicians mostly appear to take notice of them. For every vote they may gain, I suspect that they will lose a vote or more.

    MJE

  14. All this greenie-appeasement is as nauseating as it is useless. Ban it all, and they’ll need something new to stroke their warm fuzzy tomorrow.

  15. Shifted or shared responsibility. Self-moderation and personal responsibility are alien concepts to some people.

  16. Switching from pantyhose to stockings (or thigh-highs) would reduce nylon consumption by 3/4. (About a quarter of the saving occurs because a “run”/”ladder” disables only half of a stocking-pair, as opposed to all of a pantyhose-pair.) That would make a difference of 40 pounds or so over a lifetime.

    So Lola-Lola should be green groups’ poster-girl, and sin-taxing pantyhose should be their goal. (But only if they’re principled—this will be a vote-loser. (Among women, anyway.))

  17. The world’s plastic waste problem has been solved so w do not need to deal with it any more. Thank you so much, Lego-land.

  18. So, if I have this virtue signaling correct, Legos (made of plastic) no longer uses plastic straws.

    I’m filing this under “good to know”.

  19. Ok, question of the day.

    How come plastic can cause harm to everything on the planet, except humans? We have so much plastic in the house and food stuffs, yet nobody cares less that almost all foods are contained and packaged in plastic?

    How much plastic do we consume on a daily basis? I bet it’s a lot more than a dolphin does.

    • “How come plastic can cause harm to everything on the planet, except humans?”

      There’s actually a large movement against consuming one form of plastic used in plexible food containers, claiming it mimics and inerferes with hormone processing in the body—there are actually labels saying “BPA-free.” There is also a move afoot against plastic microparticles found in and scrubbed off of “miracle sponges” or “miracle erasers” and cleaning cloths, which gets into the sea and perhaps harms fish. One big country in Europe just banned it.

      And there is a small movement that claims that the sort of plastic found coating tin cans and cardboard might be hormonally dangerous, and recommends buying unprocessed food, or food in glass containers.

      • One obviously bit of plastic waste that should go is throw-away razors. They should be replaced by cartridges that slide into a non-disposable handle, they way they were made some 20-odd years ago. They’re a little less convenient, but if we all must make sacrifices, that’s where to start, not with straws.

      • Thanks Roger. If I’m reading this right, a country in Europe banned the miracle sponge become micro-particles can wash off and perhaps harms fish. They didn’t ban it because it perhaps harms humans? Interesting.

        And we are discussing (as we have in the past) where bans are in place for plastic straws because they might harm fish, yet we are only up to “a movement is afoot” about banning them because of humans. Ok then. Glad we have our priorities right.

  20. On C-Span live, right now, Bernie Sanders and a panel including weepy Bill McKibben on “Climate Change And Environmental Policy”. Waiting to watch Bill “weep for the future”.

    Bernie’s first question (for Brenda Ekwurzel of Union Of Concerned Scientists): “President Trump says climate change is a hoax. Is President Trump Right?” That’s what known, ladies and gents, as a “softball question”.

    So far Brenda and Bill are citing “proof” in the form of recent “extreme” weather events.

    Sigh.

    • Oh, also on the panel, heavyweights Shailene Woodley (“award-winning actress”), and the formidable Van Jones (“the 2016 election was a ‘whitelash”).

      Live on C-Span II right now! Quiz at Eleven.

    • Someone allegedly once made a model of Buckingham Palace using their own toenail clippings and copious amounts of glue (presumably with a great deal of patience as well).

      • Once, both of my big toenails came off after being stomped on (my fault). I kept them and promised to make a set of earrings for the wife.

        Strangely, she rejected the offer…

  21. For the plastiphobic, straws should be made of straw, glyphosate coating free of charge. Would you prefer wheat, barley or oat straw? Oat for the celiac, barley for the beer drinker and wheat for the one on a diet craving bread.

    Sorry this isn’t more scientific, but I’m pretending to be nine and out to change the world.

  22. If LEGO wanted to impress not only the Greenies but everybody else, too, they’d forget paper straws and make them out of hemp…if the government loosened the laws on hemp production and use. In fact, LEGOs themselves could be made out of hemp, with far less environmental cost.

  23. Salute all from the 50’s!!

    Can you remember the wax-coated paper straws we used at A&W for root beer and at Walgreen soda counters for shakes?

    Some where along the line in the 60’s, plastic became cheaper and more substantial, especially for those thick A&W shakes. And that new place called McDonalds used them.

    Gums muses….

  24. So when can we expect to see Lego made from plantation timber I wonder?
    Here in Victoria we’ve seen local councils promoting the replacement of plastic straws with stainless steel straws. They’ve been handing out these highly dangerous implements to people including young kids, the mind boggles at what injury a three or four year-old could do to his/her playmates with these. As for the cost, around $1.00 AUD for the S/S and around 2 cents for the plastic.

  25. Of all the thousands and thousands of tons of plastic crap Legos makes, they eliminate the inconsequential plastic straws at their theme park soda fountains….

    Lamest virtue signalling attempt evah!

  26. Lego: caught between a rock and a hard place. Talk about reinventing yourself.
    Do you realise that if all the lego blocks in the world were connected end to end they would go twice around the known universe. Lego – such a shame.

  27. Maybe if Marriott were paying more attention to running their business than they were to Virtue Signaling about plastic straws they would not have let 1/2 Billion peoples personal data slip out the back door.

  28. I was talking to one of my customers today. She was so excited to receive her latest package!
    It had drink bottles in it, allegedly made from recycled plastic, recovered from the oceans!
    I feigned excitement………………………

  29. Oh come on, you are making a fool of yourself WUWT, please stop it.

    The MASSIVE difference between a drinking straw and a lego block is SINGLE USE.

    You know that so dont be ridiculous.

    And as for calling the issue of plastic a ‘scare’, you are making a mockery of the work you have done to fight the ridiculous CAGW scare. Plastics are a problem and there is no need for their overuse. Fossil fuels however ARE needed and CO2 is beneficial.

    • MattS

      Plastic straws can be reused, but it’s considered unhygienic as they are difficult to wash.

      Nor is plastic a problem, like CO2 it’s a benefit. And the term ‘scare’ only echoes the hysteria from governments, greens and the MSM about plastic waste they choose to ship to the far east where it’s dumped in the ocean.

      As usual the knee jerk reaction to the green environmentalists whipping up scare stories is that governments make ill considered, short term decisions, blind to the unintended consequences.

      Climate change is merely a metaphor for monumental global stupidity of any description. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a laugh at their expense.

      • as noted below, you are incorrect that this ban is anti-plastic, it is a ban to stop marine plastic waste.

    • Good post. WUWT needs to stick with what they know and not grab onto everything their funders want them to.

      • Sock-puppeting relevance troll is irrelevant. Bonus unpoints for implied funded-by-big-oil smear.

  30. This is actually real issue, unrelated climate change or political correctness – plastic straws are awful as marine waste as whales ingest them and other marine life do to. Straws and those cheap plastic bags seems to be the worst form of plastic waste for this. Do marine life “see” them as a food and then eat them intentionally? Possibly.

    This is likely not an issue for anyone that doesn’t live near a coast though, so banning all plastic straws seems a bit of hyperbole.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/06/04/pilot-whale-dies-thailand-after-swallowing-plastic-bag-waste/668341002/

    • It seems Legoland are located in California and Florida. Lots of places in Florida are only offering plastic straws if requested. I live in Florida…and volunteer at Mote aquarium where all single use plastic is not used.

  31. I have no issues at all with their policy to ban straws, as to the reason why? As a person whom volunteers to pick up litter, I have picked up countless straws in the process.

  32. Thought I read that the majority of the plastic waste found in the ocean was 1) primarily lost fishing equipment, 2) illegally dumped waste that the disposer was paid to recycle and 3) just plan old discarding of waste rather than proper disposal.

    • It really doesn’t matter, as one who volunteers at an aquarium that is the rescue hospital for central Florida, enough straws and cheap plastic bags make it into the ocean that many necropsies of these dead animals show they have ingested plastic. One study showed that nearly ten percent of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) have plastic (like real plastic – straws, cups, plastic shopping bags) in their digestive tract. I am sure there is a lot of fishing equipment out there, and some cetaceans do have net material they have eaten. Remember , huge baleen whales are simply filtering whatever enters their mouth for food so plastic seems like food. Also, for dolphins and killer whales and other hunters, plastic bags look a lot like squid and straws like other animals. They may actually seek out this stuff so the amount does not matter, clearly enough gets there.

      BTW, I am not huge believer in the great Pacific plastic gyre (most pics are from the Japanese Tsunami) and I have yet to see any ill effects of micro plastics which are rather inert. It is the large plastic that we know are doing damage.

      http://onemoregeneration.org/2011/02/17/plastic-bag-killed-beaked-whale/

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/12/science/sperm-whale-death-spain.html

  33. “. . . . plastic straws will still be available by request for guests with specific paper allergies or dietary restrictions.”

    I’d like a plastic straw please – its the only kind I can eat . . .

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