Research done by a 9-year-old has identified the newest environmental evil: plastic straws. Now woke cities across the nation are banning plastic straws.
Over at Reason magazine, Christian Britschgi lays out the numbers, and the ultimate effect (none) that the bans will have on plastic straw pollution.
At most, straws account for about 2,000 tons of the 9 million tons of plastic that are estimated to enter the ocean each year, according to the Associated Press—.02 percent of all plastic waste. The pollution problem posed by straws looks even smaller when considering that the United States is responsible for about one percent of plastic waste entering the oceans, with straws being a smaller percentage still.
As countless experts have stressed, truly addressing the problem of marine plastic pollution will require going after the source of this pollution, namely all the uncollected litter from poorer coastal countries that lack developed waste management systems.
Straw banners have proven stubbornly resistant to this logic. Instead, they have chosen to rely on either debunked statistics (such as the claim that Americans use 500 million straws a day, which was the product of a 9-year-old's research) or totally unproven notions (like the theory that straws are a "gateway plastic") in order to justify petty prohibitions on innocuous straws.
Last year, the environmentalist virtue-signalers in Seattle became the first major city to identify the threat and commence the banning; violators there face potential fines of $250.
Last week, the idiots on the Santa Barbara City Council decided to one-up their coastal brethren and pass a law that mandates jail time for having the gall to offer a patron a plastic straw in the enlightened paradise that is Santa Barbara. Violators face a $1,000 fine and six months in jail for each straw they distribute. Dropping a dozen on at a large table surrounded by patrons could net a server six years in jail.
But that's not the worst of it.
When councilman Randy Rowse, who happens to own a restaurant and bar in town, suggested that maybe they should just encourage people not to use plastic straws rather than making it a crime punishable by jail time, little fascist councilman Jason Dominguez put him in his place.
"Unfortunately, common sense is just not common," he said. "We have to regulate every aspect of people's lives."
Once upon a time, such a statement would earn Dominguez a tarring and feathering and being run out of town on a rail.
Santa Barbarans, you deserve him.