Commentary

San Fran Bans Plastic Straws, Does Nothing for Hypodermic Needles Flooding Streets

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As someone who very recently lived in Los Angeles, it felt like the city was about as loony as could be when it came to far-left liberalism.

Apparently, that’s only because I never lived in San Francisco.

San Francisco has been one of the leading advocates for getting rid of the waste created by the use of plastic straws.

That, in and of itself, is certainly a noble cause.

Yes, in the grand scheme of things, plastic straws barely register as a dent in the ongoing plastic waste problem in America.

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But it’s a start and that’s certainly better than nothing.

However, while wanting to preserve our oceans for future generations is a good cause, it seems like San Francisco leadership could focus on a more pressing issue affecting its citizens here and now.

Namely, hypodermic needles flooding the streets.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, while city leadership focuses on the ocean, they’re ignoring the countless needles that are littering their streets.

Again, saving the ocean for future children is great. But what about the current children who can stumble upon a dangerous used needle at a playground?

The city has spent millions of dollars to hand out free clean syringes to attempt to protect public health, a program which started in 1993. Again, public health is great. But the problems arise due to San Francisco’s lack of accountability, as well as the sheer volume of needles being handed out.

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the city doled out a whopping 4.45 million needles at a cost of $523,363.

San Francisco Director of Public Health Barbara Garcia claims the program is meant to “to eliminate the transmission of blood-borne pathogens among people who inject drugs and their sexual partners.”

But the inability to regulate the proper disposal of the needles has flooded the street with rogue needles.

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Of the 400,000 needles distributed monthly, 154,000 were not properly returned at official disposal sites. That’s a lot needles left littering the street.

“It is hard to arrive at an exact number,” health department spokeswoman Rachael Kagan told the Chronicle. “That said, there is clearly needle litter on our streets, and we are working hard to address that.”

Even if the 154,000 were halved, that’s still far too many needles just laying around public places.

In fairness, there have been no recorded incidents of people contracting diseases from misplaced needles. But even one incident of that is far too much and a gross oversight from the local leadership.

The potential of one of San Francisco’s current denizens being stuck with a stray needle should be a far more pressing concern than the potential damage to the ocean in some nebulous future point in time. That just seems obvious.

But apparently not if you’re a far-left San Francisco government official. That’s a scary thought.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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