Plastic Straws are a “Gateway Plastic” as Alcohol and Marijuana are a Gateway Drug

Yes, you read that headline correctly.

It is real.

It has come to this:

2018 will forever be remembered as the year that hating plastic straws went mainstream. Once the lonely cause of environmental cranks, now everyone wants to eliminate these suckers from daily life.

In July, Seattle imposed America’s first ban on plastic straws. Vancouver, British Columbia, passed a similar ban a few months earlier. There are active attempts to prohibit straws in New York City, Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. A-list celebrities from Calvin Harris to Tom Brady have lectured us on giving up straws. Both National Geographic and The Atlantic have run long profiles on the history and environmental effects of the straw. Vice is now treating their consumption as a dirty, hedonistic excess.


This will go down in world history as an example of perfect propaganda — in large part because you’ll very soon start hearing how effective these bans have been, despite the fact that they’re not the real problem, and despite the fact that it’s the weight of plastic that should most concern environmentalists, not the raw number of plastic things used, or whether those objects are recyclable.

[M]ost plastic, whatever form it enters the ocean as, will eventually be broken up into much smaller pieces known as micro-plastics. It is these micro-plastics that … pile up on the ocean floor, and leech into the stomachs and flesh of sea creatures.

Reducing the amount of micro-plastics in the ocean thus requires cutting down on the aggregate weight of plastics entering the ocean each year. It cannot be stressed enough that straws, by weight, are a tiny portion of this plastic: 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 [my emphasis] 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.


Yes, 2018, the year the left took an even sharper and more dangerous turn:

Coming out OFFICIALLY against freedom of speech.

The year they sought to jail people who use plastic straws.

The year bar-straws were labeled a “gateway plastic”(!)

(Please note that, all who think me hyperbolic whenever I say the left and the right are merely two sides of the same penny, which they are.)

The year Starbucks Bans Plastic Straws — and Winds Up Using MORE Plastic because of It

The year they doubled-down on the debunked idea that Scandinavia is a model for “democratic socialism”

The year they blinded themselves one time too many in seeking to resurrect the horrific and immoral ideology responsible for more death and destruction than any other ideology in world history:

The Questions Stephen Colbert Should Have Asked Democratic Socialist “Rock Star” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

It’s been a very bad, sad year.

And it’s only halfway through.


  • TR

    July 17, 2018

    Indeed, propoganda, and a very very sad year.

  • Ray

    July 17, 2018

    But we’re going to make it better, aren’t we, TR?

    In fact, you already have.

    Thank you for dropping by.

  • Scott

    August 20, 2018

    Not about straws, but drinking at least.

    “Son, never trust a man who doesn’t drink because he’s probably a self-righteous sort, a man who thinks he knows right from wrong all the time. Some of them are good men, but in the name of goodness, they cause most of the suffering in the world. They’re the judges, the meddlers. And, son, never trust a man who drinks but refuses to get drunk. They’re usually afraid of something deep down inside, either that they’re a coward or a fool or mean and violent. You can’t trust a man who’s afraid of himself. But sometimes, son, you can trust a man who occasionally kneels before a toilet. The chances are that he is learning something about humility and his natural human foolishness, about how to survive himself. It’s damned hard for a man to take himself too seriously when he’s heaving his guts into a dirty toilet bowl.”

    ? James Crumley

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