As many WUWT readers know, there’s this push to “save the planet” by banning plastic straws. Like most liberal Earth saving fantasies, it’s rooted in shonky science, or in this case, no science at all, just a guess.
The plastic straw ban movement was started by a 9 year old kid named Milo Cress who made estimates from interviewing manufacturer representatives. Per the NYT: article:
“I came up with this statistic because I couldn’t find anything else about it. If there are other statistics on how many straws we use that are based on more rigorous research than the research that I did, I’m happy to embrace those.”
Fact check: The claim that 500 million straws are used by Americans is an estimate above the ranges of more rigorous studies. Market research firms put the figure between 170 million and 390 million per day, or 63 billion to 142 billion straws per year.
Adding fuel to the fire, in 2015, a video showing a sea turtle with a plastic straw up it’s nose became the focal point for the movement started by a made-up number.
Win one for feelings, but a loss for science. If the issue is plastic waste in the oceans, then this graph really tells the story of where plastic straw bans might be most effective.
But the real question is, how many plastic straws actually end up in the oceans?
Good luck with China.