Proponents of the movement towards eco-friendly drinking straws often have difficulty finding support within their individual communities. Opponents of the movement often argue that the edible or biodegradable varieties lack the structural stability to allow them to be user-friendly. Others contend that plastic straw bans could be detrimental for people with disabilities.
Metal straws, some might say, can be extremely risky for those living with neurological conditions. Paper straws disintegrate seemingly right before your very eyes. Yet, even the naysayers usually acknowledge the urgent need for a more environmentally-friendly drinking straw.
On July 1, 2018, Seattle, Washington, became the very first city in America to ban the use of plastic straws, stir sticks, and other utensils. Soon thereafter, the McDonald’s restaurant chain joined in the fun. By June of the same year, the fast-food giant announced that over 1300 of its stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland would immediately be transitioning to biodegradable straws. They also announced a new companywide goal: to be 100% free from plastic straws and utensils by the year 2025.
Starbucks also jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon. In July of 2018, the coffee house franchise announced its global commitment to ban the use of plastic straws by 2020 with additional plans to also ban those toxic plastic lids.
And in April of 2018, the Chicago White Sox became the first Major League Baseball team to stop serving non-recyclable drinking straws with its beverages sold at home games. Other major businesses that are either banning plastic straws or offering a secondary biodegradable option include the following restaurants, hotels, and establishments.