Baylor University took another righteous step towards making the world a better place. How, you ask? By banning one of the world’s most evil, destructive items from their campus: the plastic straw.

According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, Baylor will be phasing out straws on campus by 2022. Some immediate action has been taken, with straws being pulled from use in four of the school’s main dining halls.

Henceforth, students must request a straw if they want to use one.

Smith Getterman, Director of Sustainability and Special Projects, seems to be the initiator of this move. Getterman reportedly approached Aramark, the company that supplies Baylor’s dining halls, about student interest in banning plastic straws.

I spoke last spring in chapel, and several students approached me about the matter, about some of their own research…I have a sustainability student advisory board that features students from a cross-section of majors,” said Getterman. “This generation is very aware of environmental issues, who share the Christian conviction that we need to be good neighbors within our community.”

As we all know, the most important issue to college students across the country is the evil represented by plastic straws.

Unfortunately, banning them may not have much impact at all. Straws are not a large contributor to marine pollution, despite the claims of environmental activists. Indeed, straws constitute .03% of the plastics that enter the ocean each year. Most plastics in the ocean are various types of fishing gear, of which Baylor University itself likely does not directly contribute.

The fact of the matter is, bans such as these do nothing to improve the world’s oceans. They do, however, make life harder for disabled individuals who need to use straws and tedious for those who wish to use them as a matter of preference. But facts aren’t important to environmental activists who view these bans as “the right thing to do” at any cost.

The problem is, the activists are not the only ones paying. And they have no right to enjoin others to their cause solely because they have deemed it a righteous one.

Universities shouldn’t be in the business of assuaging the environmental guilt of some students by imposing restrictions on others.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to the Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to

Zachary Miller

Zachary Miller is a lifelong Texan and a student at Baylor University. A part of the University Scholars honors program, he is triple majoring in History, Political Science, and Philosophy. Zachary is currently a contributor at Lone Conservative and a Fellow at Empower Texans.


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