The Cougar Chronicle

The problem with the plastic straw ban

Celine Holguin, Opinion Editor

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The ecological crusade has once again taken a big step towards reducing plastic consumption, first with the ban on plastic bags and now the impending doom of the ban of plastic straws.

 

It may seem like banning plastic straws will bring nothing but positive change, but in reality it would only cause more problems given the fact it completely disregards a whole group of individuals that will suffer: the disabled community.

 

People with disabilities such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and many others depend on plastic straws in order to enjoy a beverage, so how would it make sense to take away such an important and practical tool? Of course the environment and the sea turtles are very important, but so are all  members of our community.

 

A simple solution may be that disabled people could carry their own straws, but making this obligatory would be cruel and serve almost as a punishment over something they have no control of. If someone is in a wheelchair, would they bring their own ramp to enter a building? This situation would be absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary. If we have the tools and the means to assist those who need it we should do so.

 

Of course, carrying straws would not be as terrible as carrying ramps, but this issue has nothing to do with carrying anything, it’s about the lack of opportunity and resources for everyone. Every individual should have the same access to a building without needing to worry, so in the same way, every individual should be able to have straws.

 

Plastic straws make up a minuscule fraction of what is in the ocean anyways- styrofoam, ghost nets, plastic bottles and plastic bags are few major culprits of the pollution found in our oceans. Plastic straws aren’t the problem, it’s plastic itself. We should prioritize coming up with a better solution to reduce our plastic use.

 

If we can understand rocket science, we can come up with biodegradable straws that are as effective as plastic. Materials such as bamboo,  straw or different combinations of materials could be used. here are many possibilities that can help the environment and ensure that everyone has the option to drink freely.

We all want to save our beloved planet from further damage, and there are other ways to do so without banning straws. We need to take all people into account, make them apart of the conversation and reinforce a solution that all can benefit from. After all, we live in a world of diversity in which we can create a wide variety of practical solutions for both our communities and our environment.

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