General Question

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37 Answers

Demosthenes's avatar

I’m alright with it. I never use straws to begin with and they are an environmental menace. There are recyclable paper straws that can be used for people that really want to use a straw (or for beverages that demand it). I did think of boba tea places, but since this is a localized issue at the moment, I’m sure SF business can manage to find suppliers of larger paper or other biodegradable straws.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Demosthenes When my mother was dying of Alzheimer’s disease, the only thing she could eat out of was a plastic straw. She would chew the paper straws. So they’re not appropriate for everybody.

janbb's avatar

It’s a start but I do agree that there should be some accommodation for disabled people.

zenvelo's avatar

I am in favor of them being banned. My daughter is against it because she like to drink boba, “bubble tea” with tapioca balls.

There are alternative compostable plastic straws. They should be encouraged.

kritiper's avatar

A good idea. If someone wants or needs a straw, they can use one made of paper or pasta.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I’m for it. Just need to solve getting lipstick off of glasses. Boss used CLR Calcium Lime and Rust remover. So wasn’t very good money wise or eco friendly.

johnpowell's avatar

Bite the ends off of a red vine. Problem solved.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Edible straws make sense, plastic does not. Straws also prevent disease.

JLeslie's avatar

Regarding the medical necessity, I definitely agree there should be exceptions for medical needs, but most likely the biodegradable “plastic” could be used for straws. I know there is some controversy regarding biodegradable plastic, but I don’t know the details of it. Maybe it wouldn’t work for straws.

I’ve always been in favor of a campaign to reduce straw usage. I don’t always use a straw when I eat out. I don’t get the obsession with it? Except, I guess waiters put their dirty hands on your glass? People who never use straws at home use them in restaurants. Why?

Personally, I’m fine using the paper straw, but I don’t keep a huge drink all day long like some people.

There is so much plastic we could stop using. Remember back in the day when a lot of items were in glass? Like Coca Cola. Remember when frozen food came in tin foil trays?

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I’ve always kept straws in my house…paper ones. I hate those fat plastic straws that food places give you. I simply will always choose something besides plastic when possible and affordable. I haven’t partaken of the koolaid on the straws and the environment. I just don’t like plastics. That said, it’s not possible to be isolated from them.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have several “reuseable” plastic straws that are very handy. I place them in the silverware rack of my dishwasher or soak and wash by hand.

kritiper's avatar

Straws can be reused if milk is not drank with them. Milk bacteria is one of the most deadly! It’s why they took “Krazy Straws” off the market years ago. Straws need to be swabbed out to get them really clean.

JLeslie's avatar

I wonder what would happen if people were given a choice? At most restaurants there is no choice. Why not sample several McDonald’s and see what happens. People might self regulate themselves for the higher good. Are the paper straws more expensive? I opt for paper bags much of the time at the grocery store when I forget my own reusable bags. I would use a paper straw at a restaurant if I had the options.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s a stupid idea to ban them without a viable alternative already in place.

Sure, biodegradable straws are a possible solution, but they aren’t widely available, especially at fast food restaurants.

I think this ‘movement’ will turn out to be wimpy and ineffective, no matter how ecologically sensitive it is..

rojo's avatar

Pissing in the wind.

But, that being said, it has always been a minor irritant to me that they will put a straw in my drink without asking. I immediately take it out and place it on the table where it is eventually picked up and discarded in the trash so a waste of limited resources that could be better utilized elsewhere.

Zaku's avatar

People can be smart. There is no reason to deny straws to those who truly need them.

And there are ways to make less problematic straws, and to drink without straws.

Straws are not much of a “resource use” problem, but are a big pollution and wildlife-harming problem. See this infographic article (includes some pictures of trash including straws inside dead wild animals).

When questions get framed as binary opposites such as in the question details above, people are not being smart (no offense to the OP) and are suffering from binary reductionism, and, in the case of the “oceans vs. business” version, exemplifying how overly-capitalist thinking can lead to us destroying the Earth’s ability to sustain life (hopefully that’s seen as a much larger problem than “business” – if not, wow…).

RocketGuy's avatar

All the videos I have seen of plastic floating in water show mostly water bottles and plastic bags.
I have never seen straws floating around. In fact, the link ranks straws in 11th place. Seems straws are the most trendy thing to ban, rather than the most significant.

At my house, we avoid buying bottled water as much as possible. Everyone has had their own reusable bottle for the last >8 years. We have avoided throwing away at least a thousand disposable water bottles so far, based on my rough calculations. And we always reuse any plastic bags we get from the store.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@RocketGuy I wish they would ban plastic water bottles.

Well, I wish they could ban ALL plastic. If, for some reason, plastic straws can’t be recycled, then I’m for the ban. If they can’t be recycled they end up in the landfill or as litter where they don’t decompose.
If you have medical reasons for using straws, then buy a large, reusable straw. They come with certain types of cups, like the ones you get at the hospital. If cleaning them is a concern, just buy some pipe cleaners.

kritiper's avatar

I don’t think people in general would go to the trouble of buying (much less finding to buy) pipe cleaners to clean straws. They’d just throw the straws away.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Dutchess_III Pipe cleaners are not a reasonable solution for Alzheimer’s patients who need to drink their Ensure through a straw. The care givers can’t spend their time reaming a pipe cleaner through a bent straw. My mother would have died several months earlier than she did if she couldn’t have plastic straws.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If they were willing to go so far as to find the straws that I linked to, I don’t think they’d throw them away. I have several I’ve had for years. I’m trying to get in the habit of taking them with me so I don’t use one-use straws. Using pipe cleaners is not a whole lot of trouble, and I’ve never had to use one.But I imagine it would be no more trouble than than wiping out a cup.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III How often do you buy pipe cleaners or have you, lately? Look for them the next time you go shopping…

josie's avatar

A useless gesture designed to garner publicity and votes for Supervisors.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I haven’t had a reason to buy them @kritiper. I will look for them. They are used for a lot of things, not just cleaning pipes. I bet I would find them in the crafts and art department.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@kritiper found them. They were in the arts and crafts section. They’re called “fuzzy sticks.” They have all different colors. I bought a bag of about 20 for .88.

kritiper's avatar

Food supermarkets have arts and crafts??? Well, I’ll have to check that out!!! (Won’t be buying any, though… As I recall, they are smaller in OD than straws ID…)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t realize we were talking exclusively about food super markets. I found these at WalMart. And yes. They have a smaller OD than straws, which is WHY THEY’RE PERFECT FOR CLEANING THEM OUT!!!

kritiper's avatar

Well, yeah, unless there’s bend or two in the straw…
Remember that milk bacteria is one of the most DEADLY, so you don’t want to miss any…

RocketGuy's avatar

I’ve cleaned big boba tea straws in the dishwasher before. Works well enough. Straws with curves or corrugations are much harder to clean. I got terrible stomach problems using a badly cleaned silly straw (the one with cool loops).

dabbler's avatar

Single-use anything made of plastic should be banned, including packaging.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, duh @RocketGuy. Knowing the restrictions DON’T USE SILLY STRAWS!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can’t find the pipe cleaners I just bought! I picked up a couple of large cups at Goodwill for the grand daughters. They have “silly straws” in them. I have a feeling I could get them clean with the pipe cleaner (they had orange juice in them.) It’s bendy. But I can’t find them.

janbb's avatar

^^ well, that’s hot news!

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