Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) worried over the weekend that "the straw police" might punish him if he defies the understood social custom of using a single drinking straw per meal.
In a tweet posted on Saturday, Nunes seemed downright paranoid that he could have his right to a straw infringed upon.
"At restaurant tonight waitress asks if we want straws," he wrote. "Says she has to ask now in fear of 'THE STRAW POLICE'. Welcome to Socialism in California!"
At restaurant tonight waitress asks if we want straws. Says she has to ask now in fear of “THE STRAW POLICE”. Welcome to Socialism in California!
— Devin Nunes (@DevinNunes) March 10, 2019
Notwithstanding that there does not appear to be a single Republican politician who could provide an accurate definition of "socialism", California is implemented a "straw ban", requiring restaurants to provide either paper straws or wait to for a request from a customer for a plastic straw for conservation reasons.
Though California is the first to enact a statewide law restricting the use of plastic straws, Seattle became the first city to ban straws (and other plastic utensils) back in July. (The city of San Francisco previously passed a law of its own banning the use of plastic straws outright; it’s due to take effect in July 2019.) Meanwhile across the pond, UK Prime Minister Theresa May proposed banning plastic straws by the end of the year.
According to environmental group EcoCycle, Americans use an estimated 500 million disposable straws every day (though the accuracy of this figure has been questioned), and straws were the seventh most common piece of trash picked up on beaches worldwide by volunteer cleanup crews associated with the marine conservation group Ocean Conservancy.
While the negative environmental impact of America’s fervent plastic straw use cannot be discounted, banning straws isn’t without consequence: Some people with disabilities depend on plastic straws for safe drinking. Meanwhile, others are learning to make do with reusable metal straws, which may seemingly soon become as common as reusable water bottles and travel coffee mugs.