Churches Could Be Fined for Using Plastic Stirs When Handing Out Free Coffee - Granite Grok

Churches Could Be Fined for Using Plastic Stirs When Handing Out Free Coffee


When you vote for someone, they suddenly inherit the super-human ability to know better. Or, more likely, the sort of people who run for public office are just predisposed to be busy-bodies. We know this to be true at every level of government with few exceptions. Down in DC the city council has no exceptions. 

Related: The Last Straw

They are anointed with knowing and doing and enforcing. Even when it comes to the “stick” with which you might stir a cup of coffee

“The (Department of Energy and Environment ) will begin inspecting businesses for compliance with the District’s single-use straw and stirrer requirements on January 1st, 2019,” the department said. [The] “DOEE will issue fines for violations of the ban on single-use plastic straws and stirrers beginning July 1, 2019.


For Whom Will This ‘Suck’ The Most?

Regulated entities include “bars, delis, cafes, cafeterias, carryouts, food trucks, restaurants, grocery stores, and daycare providers.” Anyone who prepares or serves food, including churches. So, the free cup of coffee you might hand to a cold homeless person (assuming they are not non-racists who take it black) cannot come with a plastic stir.

“Churches that offer coffee or food to parishioners after a service, and non-profit organizations that host events and provide food for attendees” are subject to the ban, the department said.


With what can you stir your coffee?

“Straws” made out of bamboo, hay, paper or stainless steel. That last one is probably to honor former DC Mayor Marion Barry. But in honor or not, I don’t think churches or other non-profits are going to be handing out stainless steel straws. Someone might use one to defend themselves and then DC would have to ban those too.

There is another option. Glass. Yes, the flyer (see below) suggests a glass straw as an alternative.


Why all the Bother?

Even appointed busy-bodies feel compelled to justify the mental- effluviant that passes for their command and control “ordinancingisms.”  Why do the DC doyens have to ban plastic stirs and straws?

Banning plastic straws and stirrers will help reduce plastic waste and litter that pollutes District communities and waterways. Plastic straws and stirrers are easily blown and washed into local waterways, where they can remain for hundreds of years before breaking down.

Plastic waste. Bad for the environment. There’s probably a story with one sea turtle at the beginning of that conversation, though as I noted here a refugee or separated child of an illegal immigrant would have been better. Dual purpose. More progressive bang for someone else’s buck.

Ban or no ban riddle me this? What is the carbon footprint for the production of glass, bamboo, or stainless steel drinking straws compared to plastic?

One more. How long does it take those alternatives to break down?

I’m going with longer (with the possible exception of bamboo) unless they are collected and somehow processed. A procedure that I’m guessing also has a larger carbon footprint than the plastic waste it is supposed to replace.


A Solution Looking for a Problem.

Not to stir up dissent (well, okay, maybe a little) but the go-to answer for a stir is wood. They already make them. They are cheap, abundant, but you have to kill trees to make those. Fewer trees mean less CO2 sinks to absorb the extra carbon created by all the glass and stainless steel straws. A Conundrum.

Straws. Your Birkenstock wearing latte sippers might go for a Coco Channel or Donna Karan designer straw. Stir or sip. Pick from an array of colors and styles. Order two and get the African Blackwood hand carved case with a Taslan carry pouch. Reusable, unless you can’t bear the thought of washing them.

That’s the hitch with recycle, reuse, whatever, yes? Maybe not for you or I but the same people who trash the environment during their pipeline protests and leave tons of garbage in their wake after a march or rally are the same people who insist we all reuse things.

They only thing they resue is their moral outrage. Because while the government is the one thing we all share, cleaning up after it is always someone else’s problem.

Like a DC drinking straw problem (imported from California) that will stir up trouble on New Hampshire’s ideological shores sooner than we’d like.

I’m thinking, sometime right after January 2019. 

To borrow form RushLimbaughh, don’t doubt me.

ICYMI: One of Life’s Certainties – New Hampshire Democrats Raise Taxes

DC Straw - Stir Ban FLyer