Another green betrayal as study says paper straws are actually toxic
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Another green betrayal as study says paper straws are actually toxic

Aug 06, 2023

Tom Wrobleski

NEW YORK (TNS) — I’m sure green hysterics will get it right someday.

New York City back in 2021 passed a law that banned restaurants and bars from giving patrons plastic straws. Plastic stirrers were also banned.

Plastics, as we know, are evil, according to eco-warriors. Plastics take forever to break down, and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

So instead of plastic straws, we’re now given these hard paper sippers, which feel like cardboard in your mouth, taste funny and sometimes stick to your lips. The paper straws often start disintegrating into your beverage by the time you’ve finished drinking it.

Now it turns out that these planet-saving paper straws might not be so great after all.

A research paper out of Belgium found that paper straws are toxic and potentially even worse for the environment than plastic ones, the New York Post reported.

That’s because they can contain even more poly- and perfluoroalkyl-based substances than bad old plastic.

These PFAS are also known as “forever chemicals” because they last for a long time before breaking down.

Wait a minute, wasn’t that the very problem we had with plastic straws?

It all means that paper straws aren’t necessarily biodegradable or recyclable, even if they do present little health risk to humans.

It’s not the first time that the eco-warriors have pulled the wool over our eyes.

According to the Greenpeace report, “mechanical and chemical recycling of plastic waste fails because plastic waste is extremely difficult to collect, virtually impossible to sort for recycling, environmentally harmful to reprocess, often made of and contaminated by toxic materials, and not economical to recycle.”

Now they tell us, after all the plastic bottles we’ve sorted and rinsed out over the years.

It didn’t help that China stopped buying our plastics (and paper) for recycling. Once that market dried up, it was no longer economically feasible to recycle those items. And that’s the bottom line when it comes to recycling.

In any event, how much plastic have we really eliminated with all these bans? Go into any supermarket and count the plastic bottles, containers, produce bags and product wrapping that you find.

Even the ban on plastic shopping bags has gone awry, with consumers now buried under a mountain of reusable bags which also, by the way, will end up in the waste stream someday.

And let’s face it, enforcement of this stuff is practically non-existent. The authorities can’t even crack down on all the illegal weed shops that operate in plain sight. You think that they have the horses to go into every restaurant, deli and supermarket to sniff out illegal plastic bags and straws?

Nor should they. We’ve got real crime problems out there.

And we know there’s never any finish line with this kind of thing. There’s always more to do, more things to ban, more things that are killing us or the planet, more things that are environmentally unjust. We never get to the day where we can say that all the bad stuff is gone.

I’m sure some lawmakers patted themselves on the back when they banned plastic straws. They thought they were doing their bit to save the planet.

They actually might have made things worse. What a joke.

Tom Wrobleski

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