Plastic Straw Ban and the Consequences for Those With Disabilities
The bans of single-use plastic items such as straws and utensils are starting to heat up across the country. These bans are being prompted by continued research into how the ocean environment is being bombarded with all kinds of plastic including these single-use items that will never go away. They gather in large floating "trash islands" and break down into smaller bits of plastic which then get eaten by sea creatures. The urgency to stem this tide of waste is catching on as cities such as Seattle and their homegrown business, Starbucks, vow to get rid of plastic straws.
With all of this emotion behind a really good initiative to help save the environment, business owners should also think about the consequences. For many people with disabilities, and those specifically with limited jaw movement, these changes could be detrimental.
There needs to be common sense in all things we do, and considerations should be thought of before outright banning of single-use plastic items. Maybe there are good alternatives such as having a stock of biodegradable straws or developing a longer lasting and stronger paper straw. Whatever the solutions are, it's good to start having the conversations now to help find them.
NPR has written a very nice article about why the ban should be flexible. For the full read, CLICK HERE.