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Dori: Justification for plastic straw ban came from 10-year-old

Seattle became the first major U.S. city to ban plastic straws this month. (AP)

A few weeks ago, we became the first major city in the United States to ban plastic straws. It’s so exciting how much we’re going to help save the environment with this straw ban.

Do you remember how many straws the Seattle politicians said are used in the U.S. each day? Some celebrities made a video that repeated this number over and over — 500 million straws.

RELATED: You can snort coke openly, but it had better not be through a plastic straw

John Stossel has a great piece today about where the politicians and celebrities got that number of 500 million — from a 10-year-old kid’s school report.

You may remember that I pointed out that the population of the U.S. is 325 million. So that would mean that nearly every man, woman, child, and infant is using two plastic straws each per day. It turns out that the real number is about one-third the figure which the politicians and celebrities have been citing. The real number is about 175 million straws per day.

Plastic in our oceans is a very real problem. The thing is, 99 percent of that plastic comes from Asia. The U.S. has gotten much more environmentally pristine in the last few years. Out of the small percent of plastic in the oceans that actually comes from the U.S., only a tiny portion of that comes from straws.

What Stossel’s video has concluded is that these are just “feel-good policies.” So to feel good here in Seattle, we had politicians who said, “Let’s ban the superior product that costs less.”

It costs about eight times more to make one of these paper or bamboo straws, which will be passed along to consumers. That’s Seattle politics – take away your choices, your freedom, and add thousands of regulations.

What I find hilarious is where this all started — with a 10-year-old kid who was doing a report for school. The bogus number of 500 million straw users in the U.S. per year comes from an adorable and whip-smart child who was interviewed on CNN in 2011. CNN said it was “unable to confirm” the real number of straws used per day. CNN could have found out the real answer, but was too lazy – so this is just fake news. The media doesn’t verify anything anymore. But they chose to take this 10-year-old boy at his word, and that became the leaping off point for all these celebrities and Seattle politicians to ban these things.

And so this 500 million number, which is nearly triple the real number, gets passed around over and over and over again. And then Seattle politicians pick up on it and pass laws based out on a lie.

Did you know that’s how Seattle politicians are sourcing the laws that they pass? Were you aware that laws that impact your life are coming from a kid in Vermont who did a report for school in 2011?

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