Plastic straw hysteria is in the air.

CFACT put up a billboard on the highest traffic intersection in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that confronts the hysteria with the facts.

Plastic straw bans have been put in place in Miami Beach, Malibu and Seattle.  New York City, San Francisco, Portland, Oregon and others are poised to follow suit.  Private companies are succumbing to the pressure and getting on board.  Starbucks famously announced that it would replace straws with a new plastic lid that it turns out actually uses more plastic than the straws it is designed to replace!

Plastic in the ocean is a problem.  The good news?  The problem isn’t you.

It turn out that banning straws in America will accomplish nothing meaningful.  As CFACT’s Marc Morano put it, “straw bans are the ultimate virtue signaling movement.”

Here are a few straight facts:

  • The oft-cited figure that Americans use 500 million straws a day comes from the unvetted guess of a nine-year-old for a school project;
  • Over 80% of unmanaged ocean plastic comes from just 10 rivers in Africa and Asia;
  • 46% of total ocean plastic is discarded fishing gear;
  • America contributes less than 1.4% of ocean plastic;
  • Just .03% of ocean plastic comes from straws;
  • American straws contribute an insignificant amount to ocean plastic;
  • Banning American straws is a waste.

Why ban straws in America if it accomplishes nothing?

Because the Green-Left can’t control the developing world’s pollution, but they can control you — and that’s all they really care about.


  • Leave consumers free to choose how they drink;
  • Help the developing world learn to handle its massive problem of plastic and other waste using the proven techniques that keep the advanced world clean.

Freedom creates the prosperity needed to be responsible stewards of the environment.  It works wherever it is applied.

Let freedom ring everywhere and let’s clean up the entire world.



15 times major media outlets used a statistic about plastic straws based on research by a 9-year-old, Reason

Plastic straws aren’t the problem, Bloomberg

Plastic straws play only a minor role in global plastics pollution, Axios

Trendy bans on plastic straws are mostly bunk, Chicago Tribune

Why Starbucks, Disney and Tom Brady are all shunning plastic straws, Vox


  • Craig Rucker

    Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.