Reader's View: For some, straws are a necessity
The Duluth Commission on Disabilities fully supports efforts to reduce waste and protect the environment. The Feb. 27 article, "Northland restaurants single out plastics," championed the reduction or elimination of single-use plastic straws at lo...
The Duluth Commission on Disabilities fully supports efforts to reduce waste and protect the environment.
The Feb. 27 article, "Northland restaurants single out plastics," championed the reduction or elimination of single-use plastic straws at local restaurants. These good intentions and well-meaning efforts lead to significant unintended consequences for people with disabilities and people with certain medical conditions who need a straw to drink. For many, young and old, straws are a necessity to drink.
There are compostable straws available that are functional alternatives to plastic and are not made of paper. A couple of local restaurants are currently using them. Paper straws bend, collapse, and break down, so do not work. Not providing straws or providing straws that don't work essentially reduces the ability of many to dine out at our local restaurants.
The Commission on Disabilities would like to urge restaurant owners and businesses to explore functional alternatives to plastic straws rather than just banning them altogether. The cost savings of not providing straws to every customer is understandable, but please have a compostable (non-paper) straw available to every customer upon request. There are alternatives than can be utilized without creating additional barriers for some of our citizens.
The commission welcomes the opportunity to discuss this further and work together toward a solution inclusive for all.
The writer submitted this on behalf of the Duluth Commission on Disabilities.