Columns/Opinion, Letters to the Editor

Plastic straw ban will hurt disabled’s lives

Michael J. Sharley, Westover

I am writing this letter in response to the essay by Trammell S. Crow (DP-Friday). Crow argued that the country needs to ban all plastic straws in order to save ocean life.
He states that there is an abundance of plastic in the oceans, and this plastic is harming aquatic life such as the sea turtle. While it is true that plastic is harming the oceans, banning plastic straws will do little to help the ocean life, but a ban will drastically hurt the lives of many people with disabilities.

Many people with disabilities, such as myself, rely on plastic straws as our only means of drinking. Currently, there is no other viable alternative for drinking than plastic for people with disabilities.
Paper straws are not durable enough and metal straws can be harmful to people with spastic movements. Plastic straws are durable and flexible. They allow people with disabilities to drink independently and safely.
Until a viable alternative to plastic straws can be found, the country cannot ban plastic straws.

People with disabilities want to be environmentally conscious. We do not want to harm the environment in any way. However, we want to be consulted in any debate that will greatly affect our lives, and banning straws will affect our lives.
But with almost every conversation in America, the opinions of people with disabilities are overlooked or ignored. It seems that the lives of people with disabilities are more disposable than plastic straws.