Straws are an eco-disaster — and the Biggie Straw and Final Straw may be the answer

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Plastic straws are a scapegoat that lets big companies make you feel shitty about something that is more their fault than yours. They wouldn’t be a problem if the policy was to only give you one if you ask for it. These things here probably create more waste than plastic straws do.



SOLUTION: buy some weird shit you’ll use once and then forget about


If we collected all our plastic straws I feel like we could repurposed them, even if only weaving them into mats to protect kelp fields and coral reefs.

A significant volume of my trash can and recycle bin is taken up by various containers, recycling material, baggies, etc. It’s not all that many straws, so forgive me if I’m skeptical of their proportion of impact.

P.S. my sister requires a straw to drink. but she doesn’t typically use disposable straws, she had reusable straws decades before it was cool. She beats all the hipsters!

Or we could just sit down and drink our beverages like grown ups instead of children who need sippy cups. But maybe that’s asking for too much of a sacrifice.

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I have a Final Straw. It’s nice.

Many people with various disabilities require straws. One doesn’t simply grown up and stop having a disability.


Do they sell one with a flow meter and Bluetooth speaker?


Speak to me when they find a way to get a 17 year old to wash one.


That’s, literally, a straw man. Most people who use a straw, don’t need a straw. Nobody is saying someone with a disability can’t use one. If it was only disabled people using straws, this would be a non-issue.


This is a shitty take. When plastic straws got “banned” disabled people absolutely got berated for asking for them. Why should the onus be on the disabled to prove that they need a straw? It’s much kinder to just make straws available to anyone who asks.


A. Nobody said there would be a requirement to prove they were disabled before being provided with a straw.
B. Discouraging straw use is good.

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And yet, that’s exactly what happened.

This is the crying “Indian” all over again; the blame is being placed on consumers instead of the companies creating the waste.


Or, educate kids and adults to not ask for a straw unless needed and that some people with a disability benefit from straws and encourage companies to not offer straws unless asked.

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The drink delivery system is optimized for cupholders in cars. Spill half that milkshake on your lap, seat, and car floor - the water and cleaning supplies needed to get that clean will probably exceed the environmental impact of a plastic straw by a couple of orders of magnitude.

And speaking of cleaning, drink that milkshake at lunch and put the folding straw back in its case for the rest of the day. Walk around in some 90 degree weather. When you get home, start the water tap running while you soap and scrub dried milkshake out of all the little seams and joints where the metal parts connect. How’s the ol’ biosphere going to like that?

But that’s not what happened. We went from “everyone gets a straw” to “straws are banned no one gets any and fuck you if you need it.” There are far more insidious instances of single use plastics. Stop trying to put the onus on the consumers instead of the producers.

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And we can never develop a happy medium, so we might as well be determined to pingpong between two miserable extremes? OK. Producers bad.

Yeah, we do need to be careful about these products that make us feel like we’re being environmentally responsible without really making a difference. Single use plastics are a big problem and need to be reduced where possible, but other plastic crap that only gets used a few times is bad too and will eventually make it to a landfill. The average plastic straw weighs just 0.42 grams. I’m pretty sure the plastic carrying case for the straws being sold above would weigh many times that, so depending on how many times you end up using it it’s possible that it would result in more plastic going into the environment than the plastic straws it replaced.

People with disabilities generally can’t use straws made from reusable rigid materials.

The solution to straws is to stop using them unless you have a disability.

The first thing that should change is Mc Donalds, Starbuck etc should have to stop providing containers that assume the use of a straw. I’d guess that a massive percentage of straws only get used in the first place because people are handed drinks with lids that require straws. I believe the only reason for this is that it leads to the faster consumption of sugar filled drinks and therefore encourages the purchase of larger drink sizes.

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So a side story. One of the funniest things I’ve participated in was when I had some friends from Italy visiting. We took a road trip and stopped by a Dunkin’ Donuts. They were completely flummoxed. Why would anyone get a coffee to go? What do you mean iced? And then they could not understand how to open the lid or drink from it. I learned a lot from that experience. In their world the coffee would be small, under 150 calories, without fake flavors, the cup reusable, and there would be a small social interaction in the cafe while it was consumed. How much better is this for everyone involved?