ONE NEWS NOW: McDonald’s is being lobbied to drop plastic straws from its restaurants but a consumer advocate says straws are just the newest target of overzealous environmentalists.

“Plastics are the new evil and this is part of that political campaign,” says Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center.

A shareholder proposal this week will ask McDonald’s to find alternatives to plastic straws over concerns that plastics are bad for the environment and end up in landfills, where they often fail to decompose over time.

The effort builds off an anti-plastics push on Earth Day earlier this year and it also follows a move by Alaska Airlines to stop using plastic stirring straws.

“This effort to ban straws, or styrofoam, or cotton swabs, is really an outlandish activist campaign that they claim is to improve the environment,” Stier responds.”You can’t prove it and, really, it harms all of us by taking away what is most important – and that is a consumer’s right to choose.”

Stier adds, however, that he agrees with the “reduce, reuse, recycle” campaign.

“But now we’ve gone from reduce, reuse and recycle,” he complains, “to just ban products that activists don’t want us to use.”

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