The District of Columbia recently passed legislation that would enforce a ban on plastic straws, among several other similar utensils.
The law is set to take effect on Jan. 1, with enforcement mechanisms—such as hefty fines—being implemented in July. As Tristan Justice reported in The Daily Signal, the ban extends not just to restaurants, but to bars, churches, and daycares as well.
As the anti-straw crusade appears to gain steam, it’s worth stopping for a moment to examine why such a seemingly trivial matter has become such a big deal.
The movement began in earnest in Seattle back in 2008, when it became the first major city to create a plastic straw ban. That ban went into full effect this year, and similar bans have since been popping up across the U.S.
One issue with the anti-straw movement is that it has magnified the straw problem beyond reality. While there is a general issue with plastic buildup in the ocean, just a tiny amount of it is composed of straws.
According to one study, straws make up only 2,000 tons of the 9 million tons of plastic waste that hit the oceans every year.
And most of the garbage that ends up in the ocean doesn’t even come from the United States. China and a few Asian countries are the main source of plastic waste polluting the oceans.