The food police came for our sugary drinks, and our styrofoam cups in the past.
In 2019, zealous policymakers and have by banning more conveniences that we enjoy and depend on.
Here are 5 things that we use, love, and depend on which were banned from use in 2019:
Plastic straws. Claifornia became the first state to ban plastic straws. Seattle banned them last year. We also saw many restaurants and companies nationwide eliminate plastic straws in favor those awful paper straws (which don’t stand up well to hot drinks) and useable metal straws that need to be cleaned to prevent germs. You know who was hurt by this change most? Disabled Americans who need plastic straws.
Plastic water bottles. San Francisco’s airport became the first to ban plastic water bottles in its terminal. Travellers must bring their own containers and fill up at water fountains. Great, another thing to remember to pack.
Urinals. Portland, Oregon will no longer have urinals in its municipal services building to instead offer something more gender-neutral. Stalls will be installed in their place taking up more space, but allowing for the end of gender-specific bathrooms in favor or gender-neutral ones. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea, the city says get used to it.
Plastic Bags. New York became the second state to implement a plastic bag ban forbidding grocery stores, big box stores, and most retailers from offering customers single-use plastic bags. It kicks in March 2020. Expect other states to follow.
Coffee Cups. San Francisco cafes are voluntarily banning disposable coffee cups. They are replacing them with glass jars to rental mugs or patrons can bring their coffee cups. Businesses can do as they please in an effort to save money and appear environmentally friendly. Don’t be surprised if a ban-happy lawmaker turns ithis into a mandate though.
Being good stewards of the environment is important for every citizen. However, many of these government mandated bans are not just about saving the planet or reducing waste. They are revenue raisers. Consider the money cities collect in plastic bag fees if you choose to purchase a plastic bag for your groceries.
Lawmakers also virtue signal with such prohibitions on what we eat, drink, and use to carry our food. As consumers and parents, they don’t think we are smart enough to know what’s good for us and our kids. So they prohibit those items.
In addition, as with the urinal removals in Portland, there is a clear social agenda. They are pushing gender-neutrality in public facilities by replacing anything gender-specific.
The irony is that the United States is not the biggest violator of the environment. If we want to reduce plastic in our oceans, getting China to stop dumping it’s waste in our shared waterways will do more than a ban on plastic straws.
Again, private businesses, like private individuals, can choose to eliminate plastic bags and paper cups for whatever reasons they choose. That is their choice. But, when policymakers implement these bans, they take away our choice and limit our freedoms.