In Madison they are trying to save the world, one straw at a time.
Madison Alderman Syed Abbas plans to introduce the measure to the City Council Aug. 6, the State Journal has reported.
Under the proposal, restaurants would still be allowed to give straws to take-out and drive-thru customers and could give dine-in customers plastic straw alternatives, such as paper (which disintegrates), bamboo or reusable metal straws (which recently killed a woman in a freak accident). Restaurants would also be able to leave straws out for customers to grab on their own.
Even though straws account for 0.025% of the plastic that goes into the ocean, according to National Geographic, bans on single-use plastic straws have been called for across the nation because straws are not necessary for drinking.
“People can still drink water without a straw,” Abbas said. “It’s not like an impossible thing.”
Based on that argument, people can walk without shoes. They can get around town without cars. They can survive without air conditioning.
In the 21st century, most of the things we do and buy on a daily basis are not necessary. Most things are a convenience.
Families often want cups with lids and straws because they help avoid a big mess when a child knocks over the cup.
And while it’s a convenience for families and adults, straws are actually needed for many people who are disabled.
“There seems to be this almost shaming of people. While some disabilities might be obvious, others are less than obvious,” Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund spokesman Lawrence Carter-Long told NBC Today.
“Then it gets into this almost interrogation. If you just want to get a coffee or a cold drink, do you want to give the barista your medical history? A person shouldn’t be required to do that.”
With that said, Carter-Long said, “If you don’t need a straw, by all means don’t use one. If you can use a reusable straw, that’s great, please do. If you need a plastic straw, they should be made available.”
It is good for people to be environmentally conscious and, by all means, skip the straw if you don’t need it. But it’s overreaching for cities to create straw ordinances.
There are bigger issues than straws.