The Straw Ban Craze 🥤
No straws for you
One of the hottest corporate responsibility trends right now is the straw ban movement. This movement is a long time coming and was started by a then nine-year-old who's now 17. Starbucks recently announced that it will ban all straws by 2020. Disney was the latest to join the trend and announced that it will also ban plastic straws.
What's the big deal with straws?
The founder of this movement estimated that Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day. Environmentalists are alarmed by the excessive use of a single-use disposable item. Many companies jumping on the straw ban plan to replace them with paper or biodegradable straws.
DOUBTING THE STRAW BAN:
Fortune: How Banning Plastic Straws Could Make Pollution Even Worse
Journal Sentinel: Opinion: Straw bans are just another bogus eco-fad
Those doubting the straw ban view it as "eco-nonsense" that won't make a major impact on the environment. They note that straws are only 0.02% of plastic waste in the oceans. Instead, they believe it will negatively impact smaller businesses who have to follow new regulations - e.g. your fave bubble tea shop and those big fat straws! Some outlets note that the ban could result in a worse environmental situation since producing paper straws and biodegradable products could result in a larger carbon footprint.
Those supporting the straw ban acknowledge that it isn't going to drastically help our environment, but that it is a "gateway plastic" that will encourage people to dump single-use plastic bags and bottles as well. Supporters argue that we take plastic for granted and that straws are a small reminder of how much plastic we regularly use one time and immediately throw away. Bags, bottles, straws, utensils, etc.
There's always a tradeoff
Yes, the various straw bans will prevent billions of straws from being discarded. Disney alone will save 175 million straws annually. However, sometimes what may seem like a simple viral movement can have lasting impacts on others. One of the biggest groups to cry foul with this movement are disabled people. People who lack a variety of motor functions rely heavily on straws and feel that these bans will make their lives more difficult.
Reusable straws are still in
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