Pointless: CA Bans Straws But US Plastic Pollution Is Tiny Compared to Other Countries


If you listen to narratives being spread nowadays, the political right is fascist … while liberals, miraculously, only want an inclusive paradise. Just don’t ask how it will be enforced.

As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That glib maxim has been proven correct throughout history, with some of the most appalling atrocities being committed in the name of leftist utopias promised by the likes of Mao and Stalin.

It turns out that liberal “progress” is sometimes indistinguishable from fascism. The people of California may get a small hint of what the not-so-great future of radical progressivism looks like, and it’s disturbingly Orwellian.

Californians can now be thrown in jail for … wait for it … offering plastic straws to restaurant customers.

Yes, that’s right: The supposedly anti-gun, ultra-tolerant left now wants armed law enforcement officers to toss citizens behind bars for serving milkshakes the wrong way.

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“The city of Santa Barbara has passed an ordinance that will allow restaurant employees to be punished with up to six months of jail time or a $1,000 fine after a second offense of giving plastic straws to their customers,” reported National Review.

“The bill was passed unanimously last Tuesday, and covers bars, restaurants, and other food-service businesses,” the magazine continued. “Establishments will still be allowed to hand out plastic stirrers, but only if customers request them.”

This is liberal America in 2018: Straws are essentially banned and their users treated like outcasts or even criminals, while actual murderers and repeat offenders are being allowed across the border without as much as a shrug from the left.

California may now have the highest poverty rate in the nation, but Santa Barbara apparently is fighting the truly important battles. Every straw is now being treated as a serious offense.

Do you think progressive regulations are getting out of hand in California?

“Each contraband straw or unsolicited plastic stirrer counts as a separate violation, so fines and jail time could stack up quickly,” explained Reason Magazine. Their report added that there aren’t exemptions for disabled people, who may rely on straws as a matter of necessity.

Even compostable straws are now contraband; only paper, metal, or bamboo varieties will be permitted. For now.

Here’s the part that really sucks, if you’ll pardon the straw pun: While protecting the environment and keeping unwanted plastics out of the ocean can be a noble goal, the race for liberals to ban straws will have an extremely low impact on the problem.

It turns out that America is actually way ahead of the pack when it comes to staying tidy. The leading source of plastic pollution in the oceans is communist China.

It looks like much-maligned American capitalism isn’t so bad for the environment after all.

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“In 2010, 8.8 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste in the ocean was traced back to China while 3.2 million metric tons came from Indonesia,” reported Statista, based on research conducted by the University of Georgia environmental science department.

Infographic: The Countries Polluting The Oceans The Most   | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


The U.S. barely makes the list of plastic offenders. There are eleven countries with worse ocean pollution records, and all of them are developing nations. Of the top twelve plastic waste sources, the United States is responsible for a mere one percent of the problem.

That’s the real issue with this disturbing new law: It does almost nothing to actually solve the underlying mess, while going to extreme — and yes, borderline fascist — lengths to give liberals something to feel smug about.

It’s about feeling superior while fixing nothing and throwing anybody who thinks differently into jail. In a way, that’s an apt summary of what is wrong with all of modern leftism.

Where does it end? As California slips further into poverty and mediocrity, will even more useless and over-the-top rules be put in place so that progressives can feeling self-satisfied about “saving the world,” while their own communities sink?

At some point, enforcing a flawed vision of paradise requires so many regulations and uniformed enforcers that it becomes indistinguishable from a gulag.

We are not there yet, but California seems to be sliding that way fast … and throwing citizens behind bars for plastic offenses just might be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.