Climate Change / Environment / Politics / Culture / Plastic

Critics of Starbucks' Straw Ban Are Missing the Point

Posted On: Jul 12, 2018   |   Posted By: The New Republic

Starbucks' recent decision to phase out plastic straws by the year 2020 has come under fire from the disability community. Eliminating straws, they note , has the potential to hurt thousands of people with neurological, movement, and muscular disorders who need plastic straws to safely drink fluids. Starbucks has pointed out that straws won't actually be eliminated-its stores will still have paper or biodegradable straws available for those who need them. But those alternate straws are often inadequate for disabled people, who need safe, sturdy, flexible straws. The disability community's concerns are valid, and have started a necessary conversation about who benefits-and who suffers-from efforts to clean up the ocean. The way some see it, Starbucks is choosing the needs of vulnerable sea turtles over the needs of vulnerable humans. “People like being advocates for the environment and animals. You know why? It's easy,” one disabled blogger wrote. “Relative to activism and allyship for groups of humans, I...

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