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Source: Pixabay

Why Disability Activists Are Speaking Out Against Plastic Straw Bans

By Kristin Hunt

In the past year alone, the movement to ban plastic straws has gone from a somewhat fringe concept to a widely accepted policy. Huge corporations, including Starbucks and McDonald's, have announced plans to eliminate plastic straws from their properties, while states like California are considering bills to limit straws in restaurants. But as environmental groups cheer this progress in the fight against single-use plastic, disability advocates say they’re forgetting a major issue.

Some people need straws to survive.

Bendable drinking straws help those with disabilities affecting their joints, muscles, or mobility consume hot and cold liquids, and sometimes meals. That’s why plastic straw bans have sparked a backlash online, particularly in the wake of the Starbucks announcement. Bans on plastic straws would dramatically impact the daily lives of people with disabilities, particularly when they’re not at home.