Berkeley, California continues to double down on environmentally friendly measures. First they came for the plastic bags, then the untaxed sodas. Now they want to ban plastic straws. The only problems is that the alternatives aren’t nearly as easy to swallow as reusable shopping bags or a few extra pennies for a Big Gulp.
Environmentalists are understandably enthusiastic about Berkeley potentially putting a dent in the estimated 5 million plastic straws per year that end up in landfills, as litter, and in the ocean, reports CBS affiliate KPIX 5. Berkeley Councilwoman Sophie Hahn was clear about her motivation for pursuing the ban. “We do need to change our habits,” she said. “The habits we have are destroying our planet.”
But some Berkeley residents draw the line at having to tote a reusable plastic or metal straw around with them, and business owners are balking at the increased cost of compostable straws made out of materials like paper or corn. It seems nearly everyone agrees that there’s nothing like a disposable plastic straw for standing up to a thick fruit smoothie or an iced latte.
Fortunately the ban wouldn’t be implemented until 2018 at the earliest. In the meantime, Berkeley is free to slurp away while chasing off Ann Coulter, protesting Milo Yiannopoulos, and battling white supremacists.