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The Great Straw Debate

 

 

First, plastic bags.
Now, plastic straws?
Straw bans span coast to coast, but stir up questions.

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Why Hate On Straws?

“Straws are a luxury, we do not need straws to have our drinks, and I think it’s an easy step forward where we can have a great impact for our environment.”

Brooklyn City Councilman Rafael Espinal who introduced a straw ban for America's largest city in late May, following previous official bans in Seattle, Oakland & Miami Beach.
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Impact? Data Debate

  • You’ll see this number A LOT: Americans use an est. 500,000,000 straws a day (that would mean every single American uses more than 1 straw a day).
  • That estimate is based on a 9-year-old’s research project.
  • Whatever the number, debate continues on whether straws are public enemy #1 for pollution.
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The Last Straw?

  • Straw ban part of renewed focus on reducing plastic in the ocean. 60-80% of all marine debris is composed of plastic: WCS.
  • Study looking at efficacy of general plastic bans says initial results encouraging, but more research needed.
  • Other study: fishing gear, balloons & plastic bags = biggest threat to ocean life, doesn’t name straws.
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The patent for the first straw was approved in 1888, but a patent for "drinking tubes" for disabled Americans came before that - another argument against the straw ban is it will hurt the disabled who depend on straws to drink.

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