One of the most ridiculed acts of 2018 was the new push to ban plastic straws from public life in America. Now in 2019, government “straw inspectors” are facing a backlash and mockery for checking up on restaurants to see if they’re complying.
According to FOX 5 DC, compliance in our country’s capital has been very slow. Environmental workers inspected 33 restaurants in the D.C. area one week after the district put a straw ban in place for eateries. Only six restaurants were found to be complying.
Environmental Protection Specialist Lillian Power insisted that “D.C. has cared about single-use plastics and their impact on the environment in our city for a long time. We’re basically continuing that momentum of what can we do to reduce our environmental impact and footprint, and single-use plastic straws are a pollutant in our waterways and we care about that.”
Compliance is expected to increase in July when the D.C. Department of Energy & Environment starts fining businesses between $100 and $800 for not complying. Establishments are supposed to use biodegradable paper straws instead, but not everyone likes those alternative straws or thinks banning plastic straws will make a significant difference. Others feel like there were much bigger issues to deal with first.
Is switching to paper straws significantly better for the environment? And how much more do they cost? Libertarian commentator John Stossel of Reason TV recently asked Kristin Tate to find out: