The Push to Criminalize Straws Arrives in Australia

Australian Politics, Regressive Left, Rundown

After California introduced a law that would send business owns and employees to jail for providing customers with straws some copy-cats have arisen. It seems the push to criminalize straws has arrived in Australia with a campaign called “Sydney Doesn’t Suck.”

This is on the heels of new practices on behalf of many companies that have chosen to reduce the number of wasteful products by charging clients extra for them, however, this measure goes far beyond that. The Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney has begun the push to ban straws from public venues such as bars and restaurants.

Now, the push to ban straws is not really one of heated political rhetoric, nor will it be of relevant consequence, however, this does not make it any less of a pseudo-scientific and unnecessary exercise in bureaucratic overreach. The potential damage to the ecosystem posed by straws are no greater than those posed by a plastic cup, a plastic lid, or a plastic bag, yet special attention is being put on straws and the reason why may surprise you.

It was, in fact, the combination of two things that have given the straw a non Grata status: a turtle and a nine-year-old girl.

The nine-year-old in question was made famous after she compiled some information that lead to her conclusion that there were 3.6 billion straws in the ocean, a conclusion reached by calling around different restaurants in NYC which have never been substantiated in any real way.

The turtle became famous after a heartbreaking video became viral of a straw being pulled out of the nose of a turtle as it struggles in pain. And while the video is very sad, and the research of the girl very cute, it is not a good ground on which to base a serious legal movement.

Emilio Garcia
Deputy Editor, The Unshackled
Host of the Front and Center Podcast