Friday, July 13, 2018

Straw Bans Hurt Disabled People

In yet another thing I'd never thought about because I'm able-bodied, straw bans make life even more difficult for many disabled people. Unfortunately, because people don't ever listen to disabled individuals, this has only reached even leftist Tumblr after the ban passed in Seattle. Now it's being considered in other areas.

'Disabled People Are Not Part of the Conversation.' Advocates Speak Out Against Plastic Straw Bans

Popular alternatives for plastic straws include options made from biodegradable paper and metal, the latter of which are typically reusable once cleaned. But Jamie Szymkowiak, founder of the Scotland-based “One in Five” disabled rights campaign, says those options may not suit people with certain disabilities. 
For instance, Szymkowiak — who says he has arthrogryposis, a condition that affects the movement of his joints — says some disabled people can take a longer time to drink, leading paper straws to get soggy or even disintegrate, potentially increasing the risk of choking. He added that metal straws are usually inflexible, making them more difficult to use for people who have a mobility-related impairment.

This is a perfect opportunity for us able-bodied people to reflect on our privilege. It's also a perfect time to consider whether the best course of action to protect the planet is to ban minor things like plastic straws or whether we might want to just abolish capitalism to rid the world of the incentive to destroy the world with mass amounts of industrial waste because it creates short-term profits.

These liberal band-aids won't stop environmental disaster and always seem to hurt the disenfranchised. Let's do better.

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