Proposed bans on plastic straws have gained momentum across the country.
Though it may be good for the environment, it can be bad in other ways.
Banning plastic straws places an enormous burden on people living with disabilities.
People with disabilities are speaking out on Twitter and in the media about why an all-out straw ban isn’t the answer.
From specific companies to entire cities, proposed bans on plastic straws have been making major headway.
According to an article from National Geographic earlier this year, Americans use 500 million plastic straws per day.
Though they’ve been a popular scapegoat as of late, plastic straws, however, do not make up a majority of plastic disposed of in the ocean, not even close, according to the same article. Many have pointed out the irony that the onus is being put on consumers to not waste plastic, but many brands and big corporations are polluting the environment without much consequence.
corporation: *bottlefeeding gas to dolphins* yall gotta stop using straws
— jaboukie young-white (@jaboukie) July 10, 2018
I support the straw ban and all the little ways companies choose to be environmentally friendly. I can also expect MORE and use my vote & voice to push corporations to care about our Earth. Supporting small changes and expecting bigger changes don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
— fluid desirer (@LivLafLasagna) July 11, 2018
Nonetheless, at least seven major companies, including Starbucks, and various cities and states have announced impending straw bans that will take hold in the near future. Although swearing off plastic straws is an easy way to decrease your carbon footprint, it isn’t a plausible solution for everybody.
Many people who live with physical disabilities rely on plastic straws daily, and they’re speaking out as the possibility of straw-bans becomes reality.
“Disabled people have to find ways to navigate through the world because they know it was not made for us,” said Lei Wiley-Mydske to NPR. Wiley-Mydske is an autism activist who, herself, has autism.
Daniel Gilbert, a 25-year-old man who was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, explained to CNN that if he forgets his straws at home and the restaurant or bar he’s at doesn’t have them, it’s “exhausting” to have a drink.
The need for straws that are specifically made of plastic is the difference between hydrating and not for many people with disabilities. Metal straws are temperature sensitive and inflexible, which puts users at a risk for injury. Paper straws fall apart easily and are too easy to bite through for people with limited jaw control.
i cannot use metal/glass/bamboo/pasta/corn straws during tics. i will injure myself due to #Tourettes.
i eat paper due to #PicaDisorder. i bite down hard regularly during tic storms. this = mulch. i cannot use paper/card straws. #strawban
— næo (@silverswansong) July 9, 2018
“[The disabled community] isn’t trying to …read more
Source:: Business Insider