By Natalia Castro
Cities have banded together in recent weeks to launch a campaign against drinking straws. The charge? Straws are sucking the life out of the environment. Lawmakers have started a campaign, the likes of which have not been seen since the war on drugs, to remove this contraband from city streets in an effort to save the people of this great republic. This is not a joke, this is real but rest assured, it is exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.
To be fair, these pesky pieces of plastic do have a frustrating way of making milkshakes difficult to drink, but do they deserve the vile and dehumanizing rhetoric the left has thrown at them? I thought these harsh words were reserved for Donald Trump? Apparently, no one and nothing is safe.
San Francisco has joined several other California cities in proposing a straw ban. So, while being an illegal immigrant will give you government benefits and a voter ID card, selling a straw could result in a hefty fine. Just kidding, San Francisco doesn’t even require voter IDs.
It was just weeks ago when Democrats were arguing for marijuana legalization, so individuals did not sit in jail for committing petty crimes. Clearly, straw selling is not viewed as a petty crime.
Again, to be fair, plastic waste is a huge problem. The BBC predicted in 2017 that by 2050 there would be 12 billion tons of plastic in our natural environment and landfills. We have all seen the tear-jerking images of a turtle with plastic wrapped around its deformed fins and reshaping their perfect shells. But will putting folks in jail for selling straws save these tiny turtles? No, because California hipsters aren’t causing the problem. The rest of the world is.
The BBC’s analysis shows a clear majority of our worlds plastic waste does not come from the United States or even Europe, but instead, China and other Asian nations.
A Forbes 2018 report found China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam dump more plastic into their waterways than the rest of the world combined. But rest assured, California will single-handedly save the environment by demonizing straw users.
Speaking of demonizing straw users, who will be hurt most by this new law? The soccer mom seeking a simple sip while driving to her kids to school?
No. Even worse.
NPR of July 2018 predicts bubble tea shops, the newest millennial craze of iced tea with tapioca marbles on the bottom for added flavor and fun, will suffer since they use wide straws to allow drinkers to suck up the tapioca from the bottom of the cup. More than 200 bubble tea shops have popped up in San Francisco alone. What will be next? Will they target avocado toast?
Fortunately, California has never cared about maintaining business relationships, unless their government subsidized, so the government shouldn’t be too broken up about shutting down the bubble tea industry. After all, who needs to work when you can surf?
What lawmakers perhaps should care about is the impact this ban has on people with disabilities.
In all seriousness, individuals with a range of developmental and genetic disabilities rely on straws to drink in public. Disability Rights Washington, a nonprofit with offices in Seattle, said in a letter it coauthored to the city and shared by CNN on July 11, 2018, “Other types of straws simply do not offer the combination of strength, flexibility, and safety that plastic straws do. The disabled community) isn’t trying to be anti-environment. We’re just protecting disabled people.”
With a complete ban on straws and straw sales, individuals with disabilities will have nowhere to get the supplies they need to live a normal life. California is prioritizing a small environmental impact to their own people.
The liberal straw ban campaign is ridiculous and represents the complete disassociation far left politicians have with their own constituents. Protect your straws while you still can, we finally have a reason to #resist.
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Natalia Castro is the Public Outreach Coordinator for Americans for Limited Government.