Robin Bernstein and the "Disposables"

Let’s stop sucking!

by Be Duende

Recently we came across the website of Robin Bernstein - a South African documentarian, photographer and… a keen surfer.

One of his projects specifically caught our eye.

It is called “Disposables” and, as it is noted in the subtitle, it documents the excessive use of plastic straws in the region of Indonesia.

As this is a delicate subject in the whole world, we decided to show you his project in hopes that one of your new year’s resolutions is going to be reducing the non-organic waste. Remember, there is always an alternative.

Here are some ideas we have gathered in case form today you are no longer using plastic straws:

-use organic alternatives - bamboo, paper, metal or glass straws - they are already for sale everywhere and they won't do any harm to the environment. And of course, asking for NO straw in your drink, is always a smart decision.

Dune Ives, the director of Lonely Whale (a non-profit organization committed to protecting the oceans and marine life) thinks of the wasteful plastic straws as “gateway plastics” - meaning that ones you refuse using them, it will be easier for you to say “no” to other types of plastic.



Plastic bans all over the world are spreading and we can’t be more happy about it, but we will always believe that the bans should come from the inside. Let’s not wait for something to become illegal so that we would stop using it.

And looking at Bernstein’s photographs, we couldn’t help but wonder ; how and why did we start using straws at first place?

According to “The Atlantic”  the first evidence of straws dates back from 3,000 BC.

Archeologist found an item that appears to be a golden tube in an Sumerian tomb.

The straws used for the Mate drink in Argentina are also centuries old. Americans start to use grass straws in the 1880s for drinking gin cocktails… and so on, and so on.

This makes the concept of the hollow tube as old as human history. Basically.

So, what went wrong?

Yes, the invention of plastic. But there is another quite interesting event that has pushed the “evolution” of straws - the birth of the modern “bendy” straw - invented in the 1930s by a caring father who wanted to help his daughter drink her milk shake, as the straws at that time could not “bend” and thus the little one struggled a lot while trying to drink her milk shake.

So, we guess that what we wanted to say is … it has become necessary that we start thinking about the environment the same way as we think about ourselves.


The whole project “Disposables”


Robin Bernstein Official Website 


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