When corporate virtue-signaling is actually a sign of stupidity.
LEGO is a toy behemoth. Even after the earnings report from earlier this year that the toy maker, for the first time in over a decade, was not experiencing growth (due to over-production and inventory) it remains among the most impressive companies. Rough estimates are that 19 billion bricks are made annually, and 400 billion or more have been produced since the 1950s.
Considering they generate millions of pieces per hour that is a remarkable amount of plastic extruded, which makes the announcement that the parent company of the Legoland theme parks will begin banning plastic straws seem all the more ridiculous. This is a bout of corporate virtue-signaling, and it is rooted not in sound science, but in grade-school level science projects.
Theme park operator Merlin Entertainments has released a corporate statement where it has declared they will phase out the use of plastic cylindrical inhalation fluid delivery apparatus items from its global attractions by year end. This will then include the 6 Legoland parks operating worldwide — including two in the United States. They think they are making a difference.
There is a growing list of municipalities, and even some states, which are passing legislation to ban these supposedly nefarious devices. It is said to be done to protect the environment, based on the nebulous claim Americans cravenly use 500 Million straws – DAILY!. There is even a celebrity-choked public service video addressing this very crisis. Because, of course there is. And like anything else the luminaries of our world become attached too, it is filled with flawed reasoning. (Seeing Neil DeGrasse Tyson getting smacked facially by a tentacle is however a pleasant diversion.)
Where does this jarring 500 million figure derive; from university research, governmental engineering projects, or an environmental impact study??? Nope. It comes from a 9 year old kid. Seriously. He called up some straw manufacturers, got some numbers, and produced his round figure of half a billion. The research-averse media ate it up, propped the tyke in front of their cameras, and simply regurgitated his claim.
Years later it has become settled science, and now we have legislation being formulated based on what everyone knows. Any doubters of the data delivered by a 4th-grader are of course to be dubbed as “anti-science” troglodytes. The activists — they sure do love their statistical talking points delivered in convenient easily digestible pre-packaged single-serve portions. Also these are almost always, ironically enough, easily disposable.
And so, now we have bans of plastic straws in theme parks dedicated around one of the largest plastic-producing corporations on earth, and designed with plastic across just about all visible surfaces. But take heed; Lego in in the works of producing a new plant-based plastic for its icon building blocks. But I sense a nefarious marketing ploy at play here.
If they do come up with a new “environmentally friendly” brick that could mean anyone with pounds of Legos in their home could be deemed to be harboring toxic playthings, which will need to be purged for safety’s sake!
If this is all too much for you to wrap your head around, here is a calming zen-like video of a Lego processing plant.