What are your thoughts on plastic straw bans: good idea or pointless gesture?

personally I'm all for cleaning up the environment , if I see a plastic water bottle in a park or along the road I'll pick it up and put it in the recycling

but lately this whole plastic straw ban especially at restaurants has me annoyed , I realise we need to reduce plastic usage but is me using a straw to drink my pop out of a cup hurting the environment? if the restaurant safely disposes on them in there garbage. I have a hard time believe any trash from our local restaurants are making it into the ocean as its 1000's of miles away. and our dump is located down a back road in a wooded area no where near the water.

a lot of the time when I try and drink straw less I spill half the contents on my shirt and its much less enjoyable to drink that way than without a straw.

and for sanitary reasons I prefer a straw than having my mouth touch a cup that's been used by hundreds of people

I'm all for cleaning up the local environment but not seeing the point in banning plastic straws from being used in restaurants no where near the ocean
  • ban the plastic straws
    Vote A
  • undecided at this point
    Vote B
  • pointless gesture
    Vote C
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Girls

  • Banning plastic straws doesn't mean there's no straws at all. They should just make straws from other materials.

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    • there is paper straws although there not used by many restaurants here , I think they found it cheaper to go straw less and not have to buy any straws

  • It's not hard to buy your own sturdy reusable straw and carry it with you if it bothers you that much. The sanitary reason I think is just entitlement really as all the glasses will be washed in hotwater before you touch them. If you help yourself to a straw, then you're probably touching the tops of the straws where all other customers hands have been or the staff have touched.

    Over here there are more and more places using paper straws so there are no need for plastic ones now. I think the ban needs to go further if I'm 100% honest.

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Most Helpful Guys

  • The US is responsible for less than 7% of the plastic that ends up in the ocean - we have had responsible waste management and recycling in place for decades. And of all the plastic we generate, straws represent approximately 0.03%.

    This whole thing was started by a middle school kid doing a report, and was latched upon by rabid environmentalists as a feel-good campaign. It's meaningless.

    It would be FAR more effective to reduce unnecessary over-packaging overall. That creates waste several orders of magnitude greater than straws.

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    • That’s a great idea. Some of the products I buy are so frustrating to open because of all the plastic wrap. Like buying a new pair of scissors that require a pair of scissors to open. Children’s toys are a nightmare to unwrap.

    • Yup this guy has it correct

    • The Oracle has spoken.

  • I voted "pointless gesture" but not for the reasons you pointed.

    You are wrong in stating that since you may live in a place that is land locked your indestructible plastic straws can't reach the ocean. Number one , they can and this has been proven time and again by attaching GPS trackers to pieces of garbage to see where a particular piece of garbage ends up 3, 6, 9 and 12 months from whence its initially discarded inadequately. Secondly, even in a hypothetical where the former didn't happen, land fill sites are just as hazardous as ocean pollution is.

    Moving on to why I think banning plastic straws is a pointless gesture is because there are things that need to be banned way before we come around to banning plastic straws without a proper replacement. For instance, cigarette butts are a bigger problem when it comes to ocean pollution, a much bigger problem than plastic straws.

    It's all about priorities NOT the environment, though, with most corporations and governments that actually control the policy making when it comes to things like this.

    In my humble opinion, if you want to ban something for ocean pollution, ban the sale of cigarettes with plastic filtered butts!

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    • a big problem facing to oceans is the fact there is already so much trash and plastics in them , even if we stop putting in new plastic. there is going to be plastics floating around for a very long time , look at that pacific garbage patch , its massive

    • There can be a cleanup crew that takes care of the old plastic. Hell, could create job openings. There's robots being made in Europe that float the water surfaces and pick up trash and feed it to a incinerator that burns the plastic and creates electricity.

      Just because there's already trash in the ocean doesn't mean we get unapologetically add more to it. That's ridiculous, that's like not taking a shower because you are already so sweaty and waiting forever because you'll get sweaty once again.

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Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 19

  • Yet plastic straws wash up on beaches constantly, so someone's not getting their garbage into a landfill.

    But even so, plastic doesn't biodegrade in landfills either, and eliminating plastics as much as we can is still wise.

    I'm getting used to it. I have a steel straw now.

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  • Most plastic should be banned. In my area the town doesn't recycle so if you want to recycle you have to drive an hour and a half or more to go to a recycling place.
    And I've always wondered are they actually reusing the plastics sent to be recycled?

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  • Eh 50/50. It's a good step but some people really do need them and the alternatives don't work as well (eg paper straws dissolve) so a full ban isn't good but also getting rid of them doesn't mean there's no more work to do and we've solved all the excess trash problems but people are really acting like this fixed the entire world.

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  • I think macdonalds have the right answer at the moment. Offer straws and people can decide for themself. Sometimes i need a straw and sometimes i dont.

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  • The metal ones taste yucky. And why should I wanna save this miserable fucking hellhole of a planet? As Marilyn Manson once said, "Save the rainforest, save the planet... what you need to do is save yourselves."
    xx
    ~ Mrs Manson

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  • A really dumb fucking idea. Specifically thinking because of people with neurological disabilities. Many have to have a straw to drink.

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    • I have to agree with you on the specific case of people with neurological disabilities. Otherwise, people should stop plastic straws, and don't worry, some entrepreneur would obviously come up with a new product which would replace the plastic straws with something that is environment - friendly.

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    • Like reusable silicone (still plastic, but at least durable and washable), pasta, bamboo, steel, paper. I'm sure there are other but those are the ones I have seen

    • Plastic ones are the best for handling hot temperature, and if person in question has a neurological disorder things like steel and bamboo can make them literally loose their teeth if they have a biting problem. Plastic is the best thing, its also less of a choking hazard.


  • Pointless.
    I mean. It’s a nice thought. But really, if you skip to reality. Our environment has already been fucked in the ass several times.

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  • It’s really hard to break up the plastic and they just create landfill. It’s different to get used to but I’ve got no problem with them going, plus you can always get reusable straws

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    • landfill isn't so bad... its plastics that get into the sea thats the cause of this debate. look on google for seabirds and fish disections. i saw a dead chick with a cigarette lighter in its gut

  • there's more important things in the world than straws

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    • Not for everyone. Some people can’t drink without straws

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    • Ok and? there's nothing we can do.

    • Well... you could always not ban straws and instead go for something people with disabilities don’t depend on, like plastic bags... why not ban those instead?

  • Why not switch to hemp plastic instead. Anyways I don't know how this will work out especially since we are so used to plastic.

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  • its good one, already there is a different parts of the world people introduced alternative (eco friendly) straw for plastic straw.

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  • It's pointless you know, I see no reason why it should be banned, don't forget it's someone's means of livelihood

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  • C -- pointless.

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  • Stupid idea thought up by stupid people.

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  • Yeah it good I think

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  • ridiculous

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  • It shouldn't get banned

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  • It’s a good step, but we need to do way more

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    • It's a good step that people can't drink with straws? Step towards what? Saving the universe? It's nothing but bs.

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    • I’m not saying it isn’t, but right now we use it for things where it isn’t even really necessary. Do we really need straws?

    • If somebody rather drink his/her drink with straw than without, then yes we need. I would understand this, if we would be ready to make affordable and quality straws out of some else material, but we are clearly not.

  • I'll laugh when all restaurants get shut down

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What Guys Said 40

  • any small improvement is good.
    Not sure what impact it will have in saving "plastic" compared to the usage of other plastic products, but I'm thinking if it's actually a move for educating the young ones more than anything.

    Children, teenagers use plastic straws more than any other category so taking that away from them by telling them it's bad it might actually trigger their "awareness" and make them say "but it's not just straws. i'm wasting with this plastic bottle as well, so I'll stop using plastic bottles or at least recycle them when done".

    Plastic straws are easier to ban than any other plastic item currently in the market.
    Imagine Governments trying to get to agreement to ban plastic bottles completely. Would the industry allow this without a fight, without asking for compensation for fucking their business up? (juice producers, bottled water producers, the ones that actually produce the plastic containers).
    Maybe it's also a way to mentally prepare the companies that use plastic in their everyday activity and make them think "it will be us one day, so why not search for alternatives starting now instead of waiting for it to happen?".

    So though a rather tiny step in "saving plastic", it actually is a step forward in changing and re-shaping mentalities starting from consumers and ending with producers that are influenced by the habits of their consumers.

    Fingers crossed to see this pick up fast and move to other parts of the consumer industry.

    The neighbourhood I'm part of already takes care of the plastic bottles by having an arrangement with a recycling company to come pick the waste every week. So we should at least recycle it. If we'd do it at a 90% level world would definitely be a better place

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  • I think it's a step in the right direction. When I was a kid I don't think there were any plastic straws, but I don't remember for sure. In general, there were not many things made from plastic when I was a kid. So many things being made from plastic is relatively recent.

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  • Made me laugh when you said you spill when you don't use a straw. Still you can buy yourself a metal straw with a straw brush and use it over and over again. 1 straw does not hurt the environment but billions of them does (there are many billions of straws used each years in the world)

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    • I've never seen a metal straw for sale here , some bars also " check " you before you enter by the bouncers , they might wonder why I needed to bring a metal straw into the bar

  • i guess it's a good idea, here at nyc a lot of people would just throw their garbage on the floor and litter even though there's a trash can on almost every corner of the street. with the straw ban, it's one thing less being thrown on the street and people are carrying their own metal straws for use instead.

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  • Pointless gesture by the Lunatic Fringe California Legislature. Does not ban them at fast food places, from which virtually all that make it into the ocean come. Meanwhile they want to give junkies 20 needles for each one they turn in, practically guarantying that more used needles will end up in parks where children play.

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  • Fix the problem by filtering plastic out of storm drains rather than deny people basic freedoms like the use of a straw. I don't even even use straws but find it absolutely ridiculous that someone would suggest making them illegal as part of a solution to a problem. Prohibiting things never worked in America and it never will.

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  • Sure, it's only a small portion of our pollution, but it's inarguably better for the environment. Baby steps.

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  • I don't really think plastic straws are quite The Problem but I do think that anything which reduces plastics reaching the ocean and can be done with suitable alternatives is fine by me. They banned the shitty lightbulbs and I think that was ultimately a better decision for the environment.

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  • I'm all for cleaning up the environment. My opinion on banning straws is out, as I don't yet know enough about costs and alternatives, and helping sea life and birds, to be able to compare and make an informed decision.

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  • It’s pretty useless because straws don’t make up much of the wasted plastic anyways. Also people don’t think of those with disabilities who need to use straws. There are metal straws you can buy and wash but I don’t expect many disabled people to want to take the time to wash their straw every single time they drink something, and it just seems more sanitary to use a new one in general.

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  • better plan to ban plastic tampon applicators, plastic flatware, plastic drink lids and drink bottles while you're at it.
    there's a reason all this crazy shit comes out of the peoples republik of kalifornia.

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  • I don't know which country you're from but no cup is used by hundreds of people and then given to you. We have recyclable paper cups, manufactured and packed by automatic machines, without a single human touch. Also, it would take you just one minute to Google out how much plastic straws contribute to plastic waste every year.

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    • I was referring to glass cups used by restaurants , they use the same glasses all day , sure they are washed in the kitchen or through machines but a lot of people do touch them

    • That's a valid point, but if plastic straws are banned, there will soon be startups with products to become the substitutes of plastic straws, and thus the void will soon be filled with an environment friendly product. Win win for both, humans as well as the environment We live in.

  • I never got sick by drinking straight from a (public) glass. If you don't want to have principles: just say so. But don't make up excuses. We need to begin SOMEWHERE. And straws are one somewhere-option.

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  • I don't know about bans, but I do believe it's a good idea to no longer use them much anymore. I mean, really, when did we really actually NEED them? Last I checked, we've all drank straight from the cup/glass.

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    • There are people in need of straws in order to be able to drink. Imagine a man with Parkinson’s disease trying to lift a cup to his mouth. It just won’t work

    • @maiave Then that would be the exception. Otherwise, there's no other reason.

    • I agree.

  • Most restaurants still provide straws if you ask for them. Where I work I hand out cups without straws and at the end of the day 1 or 2 people ask for straws and i give them straws. So from my point of view it doesn't seem like much of an issue

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  • If we don't start back peddling on how we're doing things the only planet we have could be permanently damaged. If it doesn't matter then changing from plastics shouldn't matter. Just do it

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  • I think you can get stainless steel straws now. Get one and carry it wherever you go.

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  • Why not ban all plastic. Plastic cups, plastic bags? Plastic anything that can't be reused. One plastic cup is equivalent to 100 straws. Did they ever do the math? people are so stupid.

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  • Its stupid. Everyone freaks out about plastic but if they wanted to cut down another forest for a shopping mall no one complains. Fix people first.

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  • it is a bit like hitting the fossil fueled car driver when eating meat causes more pollution but if it helps then all pointless gestures add up

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  • Well, you make some good points, but I guess we can live without straws.

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    • there is the alternative of paper straws , I'd have no issue with being able to use one but few restaurants offer them

  • Plastic straws make only a tiniest fraction of plastc waste.

    And baning them isn't a way to go.

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  • I read about a bar that was using pasta straws instead of plastic or the dreaded paper straw. Now that seems like a good idea to me!

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  • How the hell does a grown ass man need a straw to avoid spilling drink on himself

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    • If he’s clumsy. Or if he has any kind of neurological disease. Which is why banning straws is a dumb ducking move.

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    • 🙄 then let those one percent of people who have issues buy their own straws

    • What’s with that rolling eyes emoji though? I’m not trying to outsmart you or something, it just that things like this is personal to me, having worked with people with those kind of disabilities since I was 15-17... I hate the fact that people don’t take those things into consideration...

  • It is just a really stupid thing to do. Just more liberal nonsense that will not help anything.

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    • Why do people jump to party status when topic of environment or science is mentioned. Suddenly is like you're insulting their intelligence lol. No cares who is what party as long as we all have clean water, clean air and clean earth for generations to come. So please tell your Republicans to butt off and stop FRACKING THE EARTH FLOOR FOR OIL. ITS KILLING SEA ANIMALS.

    • @DaMack999 Is it truly going to affect your life if Sea Animals are dead? I don't think so.

  • There are alternatives. Paper and straws made of other eco friendly materials are available so why use plastic ones?

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    • the problem is few restaurants use the plastic ones , some just got rid of straws entirely and don't even carry the paper ones as an alternative. likely cause they were too expensive

    • ops should say use the paper ones

  • The straws were banned, then the pollution got worse..

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  • Glad the Left has their priorities straight and is focused on straws.

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  • Seems pretty dumb to me that straws was a high priority

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  • We should use biodegradable polymers rather than plastic.😁

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