Some people have been getting anxious about the use of plastic straws. They should be banned, they cry.
The media have picked up on this and cited various statistics about the number of plastic straws that are being used.
'Each day, Americans use an estimated 500 million straws. The number
has been used to illustrate the scale of the issue and modern society’s
reliance on this ubiquitous piece of disposable plastic.
It turns out, however, that the number is imprecise and originates
from Milo Cress, a young environmentalist who researched straw usage to
come up with the 500 million estimate when he was just nine years old.
As a curious fourth grader who had just started an environmental
project to discourage restaurants from providing straws by default,
Cress decided to look online to find out how many straws are used each
day in the United States. Not being able to find any statistics, he
called straw manufacturers directly and estimated the 500 million figure
based on numbers they provided him.'
Read more on Tim Newman's blog.