Argument: Substitutes for plastic straws are inadequate

Issue Report: Plastic Straw Ban


RJ Joseph, “Straw Ban or Straw Man? Why Plastic Straw Bans Aren’t the Answer,” Sprudge, August 2018: “As disability rights advocates have pointed out, all current substitutes fail to meet the same standard of universal design. Compostable alternatives lack the same sturdiness, making them too easy to chew through or choke on for people with limited jaw mobility and (in the case of paper straws) too flimsy for people with longer drinking periods. Reusable alternatives present problems too; not only would people with disabilities need to carry them around on top of other medical necessities, they’re also difficult to wash, dangerously unsanitary if not properly washed, conduct heat and cold, and present cutting risks. With the current selections of alternatives on the market, if establishments don’t have a stash of plastic straws in-house, they risk creating situations where people with specific disabilities either can’t drink safely, or can’t drink at all.”

Paul Muschik, “Plastic straw bans are the last straw — let’s get rid of litterbugs instead,” The Morning Call, July 17, 2018: “Straws made of paper or other biodegradable materials are supposed to take the place of plastic straws where they are banned or won’t be offered anymore. Paper straws are garbage. They don’t bend, they fall apart and they don’t always work well with hot drinks. Special lids you can drink through aren’t an adequate replacement, either. And not everyone can use those alternatives so easily.”