The anti-straw hysteria is based on politics, not “global warming” which has somehow morphed into “climate change.” The left has been going around screaming “the sky is falling” and no one is taking them seriously. Since their constant finger wagging has not produced the obedience the left desires, they have a new target: plastic drinking straws.  Those evil devices of convenience are now taboo for the hip envirofascists, and they are going to force you to stop using them too. 

Though this movement pretends to be based in compassion (usually for turtles), it is showing a callous disregard for the disabled.  Disabled human beings, that is.  In a fascinating article called “Valuable Resources: The Ableist Fight Over Plastic Straws,” S.E. Smith lays it out:

Straws represent independence for some disabled people who can’t drink on their own without one and would otherwise need the help of a caregiver to drink. Others need a straw even when drinking with assistance because of hand tremors, limited muscle control, or other issues. Telling disabled people they should rely on support or slop fluids all over themselves is infantilizing, but also dangerous: An aide isn’t always available to help someone take a sip and dehydration can be fatal.

While alternatives to plastic—such as glass, metal, silicone, and paper—exist, some express concerns about their practicality and usability; metal may cut a person’s mouth, for example, while paper isn’t sturdy enough for someone with limited muscle control. Mentioning the effect that banning straws might have on disabled people has become a dangerous proposition. On social media, the anti-straw brigade lectures about alternatives disabled people are already aware of or shames disabled people for needing to drink. “Quit harming the environment because you can’t take care of your own needs,” said one helpful commenter. “Sorry, the trouble cleaning and inconvenience still doesn’t trump the damage caused by plastics,” said another.

So, these mean liberal activists are being horrible to the disabled, because…pollution?

Well, they’re full of it. Their stats are bogus, and you and I, and the entire U.S. contribute near nothing to the problem they are trying to solve.  Matt Walsh set the record straight:

In reality, your straw usage has almost no impact on the ocean whatsoever. That’s partly because the “500 million straws a day statistic” is invented, and partly because the United States as a whole contributes very, very little to the plastic waste problem. About 60% of the plastic in the Ocean comes from five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. Indonesia’s Citarum River, the most polluted river on Earth, is essentially a massive trash heap on a giant aquatic conveyor belt. Every day, 20,000 tons of waste and 340,000 tons of wastewater are dumped into it and then ferried to the ocean. In places like Vietnam, plastic in the water is the least of anyone’s concerns. Raw sewage is discharged directly into water ways, turning the rivers toxic.

Exactly.  This movement is so dumb, mean-spirited, and scientifically inaccurate.  I’m glad that more people are calling them out for it.

Image Credit: NeedPix

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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