Straws. Again.

So Seattle has banned straws.

I’m so far past done with this, but it appears to be grumbling on, so once again. I apologise in advance – I used up all my gentle approach words last time.

Banning straws because you saw that sad video of a turtle is bullshit.

Straws are necessary for a large number of disabled people.

1 – But plastics are killing the planet
Yes, that’s true. Here are some better targets which don’t actually have a functional use: balloons, balloons, BALLOONS. If your answer to this example – something which actually has a base of evidence to show it’s harmful as opposed to a single emotive YouTube video – is that children like balloons, then take a long look at your priorities.

Straws are a tiny, tiny fraction of the plastic waste we generate but apparently it’s reasonable to expect disabled people not to be able to drink like other people do but it’s unreasonable to expect a child to go without a balloon they won’t notice the absence of.

2 – but you can get paper/metal/glass straws

Yes. We know. You’ve told us almost as many times as you’ve told us to try yoga or cbd oil to cure us.

Straws of those types do not meet the same needs as most plastic straws do. They can replace some straw use, and offering a few different types is a good idea, but the bendiness and poseability of plastic straws is one of their main selling points. If you’re a cinema, offering paper straws in place of the large, non-bendy plastic ones is a good option to have.

Re-usable straws require that you’re able to use the kind of fine motor skills to clean them THAT YOU PROBABLY DON’T HAVE IF YOU NEED A STRAW TO DRINK. Also, social vs medical model of disability: why is the expectation that the disabled person should do all the work of finding accessibility, rather than some of that weight being taken by the society in which we live? Other people get to go out and have a drink without having to bring their own cups.

And this should go without saying but ableds keep fucking it up so: YOU CANNOT TELL BY LOOKING AT A PERSON WHETHER OR NOT THEY’RE DISABLED AND YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO THEIR MEDICAL INFORMATION. If you see someone using a straw in a place where there’s a straw ban, just move the fuck on with your day because your average disabled person is tired of people like you demanding to know what their disability is. You have no right to ask. If you are working and a person asks for a plastic straw, give them a plastic straw. You can tell them that you also have other types of straw available, but don’t ask them why they need it. Sure, don’t just give them out to everyone as standard, but if someone asks for one, give them it. In some pubs I’ve been in, they just have a jar of straws on the bar so that, if you need one, you can take it.

3 – But the turtle
Yes. It was very sad. It was a good video. We should absolutely be pressuring corporations and governments to tighten up how waste is disposed of. Plastic waste like that should never reach the sea. However, making life harder and more inaccessible for a group of people already excluded by society is a dick move if it’s just to pat yourself on the back about how green you are. It doesn’t make much of a functional difference to the environment and you only think that straws are pointless because you’re lucky enough not to need them.

Balloons, on the other hand. That’s a good target for the energy you’ve been using on this, if you want a simple, easy way to show everyone that you care about plastics without you having to make any major personal changes to your life.

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