The Great Straw Debate
First, plastic bags.
Now, plastic straws?
Straw bans span coast to coast, but stir up questions.
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.
Flip: What Impact?
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.
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.
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.
- GREAT READ on history of straws in America:Disposable America
A history of modern capitalism from the perspective of the straw. Seriously.A https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/06/disposable-america/563204/
- City councilman proposes a ban on plastic straws in New York CityA http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/05/24/nyc-councilman-rafael-espinal-proposes-a-ban-on-plastic-straws-in-the-city
- Be Straw Free Campaign:A http://www.ecocycle.org/bestrawfree/faqs
- GIVE A SIP: WCS Launches Campaign to Support Bill Eliminating Plastic Straws in New York CityA https://press.wcs.org/News-Releases/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/11311/GIVE-A-SIP-WCS-Launches-Campaign-to-Support-Bill-Eliminating-Plastic-Straws-in-New-York-City.aspx
- Dear, NBC: Stop repeating that stupid lie about how many straws Americans useA https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/dear-nbc-stop-repeating-that-stupid-lie-about-how-many-straws-americans-use
- BANNING STRAWS WON’T SAVE THE OCEANSA https://psmag.com/environment/banning-straws-wont-save-the-oceans
by Jenna Lee,