You have to admire the major west coast cities; they sure have their priorities in order. They’re hip deep in syringes and feces, but when it comes time to protect the environment, do they take steps to clean up the very obvious health hazards of discarded syringes and human waste? Of course not! They ban that scourge of civilization, plastic straws.
Now, before you go all green on me, a few statistics: The US produces less than 300,000 metric tons of oceanic plastic waste. China produces 8.8 million metric tons, and Indonesia produces 3.2 million metric tons. By the time you get to the US, the worst offenders account for more than 22 million metric tons of plastic waste, or roughly 30 times as much waste as we do. And, plastic straws account for less than 1% of US oceanic plastic waste. In other words, this ban, which is inconvenience at best, will accomplish less than nothing, because we’re already among the most responsible users of plastic on the planet. But, at least the idiots who fought for this ban can pat themselves on the back for caring about the oceans, just not enough to actually accomplish something.
Meanwhile, what about people who need straws to drink? Drivers who don’t want to wreck their cars by blocking their vision with a cup, or parents of small children? Why, that’s easy! As I pointed out in the cartoon, there’s a substitute readily at hand. Simply pick up one of the discarded syringes on the street, pop out the plunger, stick it into your drink, and suck away. Because you’ll get in a lot less trouble with the local authorities for leaving a syringe on the sidewalk than you will for leaving a straw.