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Straws Still Suck
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A few issues back, two contributed articles to Moonshine Ink stated that America uses 500 million straws a day, and our fact checking process confirmed this with multiple online sources. As it turns out, this figure is based on a study conducted by a 9-year-old, that was recirculated in dozens of national newspaper articles. This tells us two things. 1) Things are a little screwy when the only person who thinks to look into the gross over-consumption of plastic straws in this country is 9 years old. 2) It’s important not only to confirm information but to know the source.

Following the news that this oft cited figure came from an elementary school student, a slew of articles appeared discrediting the straw banning movement for using the statistic. To set the record straight, one market research firm, Freedonia Group, did its own study which found that our daily straw consumption was about 390 million straws a day in 2017 — not as high as the first number but that’s over 142 billion straws a year.

Moonshine Ink regrets the error, and maintains our promise to keep checking the facts, as well as one very important thing that is frequently lost in the fast-paced news cycle: context. The context of this correction? That 390 million straws is still a veritable s**t ton of unnecessary plastic.


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January 10, 2019