Could It Be the Last Straw for Plastic Straws?

Drinking straws are pointless and damaging, but it’s hard to leave them behind
Apr 16, 2018 10:30 AM ET

By Bee Wilson

Plastic drinking straws, I realized recently, are enmeshed with many of my fondest memories. When I was a child, a glass of lemonade with a straw was heaven. Drinking straws were also part of going to the movies, huddled in the dark with a giant, icy Diet Coke. In my 20s, I remember the thrill of sipping whiskey sours through one of those short, slender cocktail straws and feeling carefree and sophisticated.

It’s a shock to come to the realization that the straws we had fun with all those years were actually pointless and damaging. What were we thinking, allowing all these tiny pieces of plastic to be generated for beverages that are gone in minutes? Once discarded, millions of straws end up in the ocean, where some become lodged up the nostrils of sea turtles. As a recent article in these pages reported, straw maker Fuling Global estimates that U.S. consumers use 20 billion of the plastic contraptions a year.

But we are now in the middle of a war on straws being fought by environmentalists as well as some bartenders and liquor companies (such as Bacardi, which banned plastic straws from events two years ago). Several cities in California now have “straw-on-request” laws that prohibit waiters from handing out straws unless a diner expressly asks for one.

Click here to read the full article