The movement to eliminate plastic straws has received a tremendous amount of support from environmentalists, celebrities and, lately, even large corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks, who have vowed to eliminate the single-use items in their restaurants. But several organizations like Disability Rights Washington and the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled are speaking out in favor of plastic straws, arguing that they are an important tool in providing access and independence to people with disabilities.
Is there a reasonable compromise here? Should straws still be available upon request, or do drastic measures need to be taken to eliminate them in order to clean up our oceans? Starbucks and its fellow restaurants deserve credit for trying to enact positive change in the environment, but a real solution to the problem may be harder to find.
To read about protests by the disability community against plastic straw bans, visit this article by Molly Enking for PBS: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/disability-rights-groups-voice-issues-with-starbucks-plastic-straw-ban-as-company-responds