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Old 05-21-2019, 07:12 PM
mhendo is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 25,434
Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
I admit, I like my straws with beverages with ice, though.
Banning plastic straws is one of those environmental policies that sounds like a good idea, but is really just window dressing that makes some people feel better while doing basically nothing (and I mean, almost literally, nothing) to help the environment.

Plastic straws account for an infinitesimally small percentage of the plastics that end up in the world’s oceans, and of the overall amount of plastic waste created in the world. Not only that, but the more than half of the plastic waste fouling up the world’s oceans comes from five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Source report.

While advanced economies like the United States need to make efforts to produce less plastic waste, and to deal with it better, America is responsible for only a tiny percentage of the plastic waste that ends up in the oceans. According to a 2015 article in Science (you need to be a member, or have institutional access, to see the article), the United States ranks far behind the above-mentioned countries, and many others, in terms of mismanaged plastic waste. The United States, according to the report, adds about 40,000 - 110,000 metric tons of plastic to the ocean each year, while Indonesia adds about 480,000 - 1.2 million tons, and China contributes 1.32 - 3.53 million tons. (If you don’t have access to Science, you can see the data table reproduced in this Reason article).

A few cities banning plastic straws basically has no effect on this at all.