Author Topic: A war on straws  (Read 1947 times)

RedAndBlue

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A war on straws
« on: June 20, 2012, 05:24:04 PM »
So it sounds like, for environment reasons, bars, pubs and clubs in London are being asked to stop using straws. It probably counts for cafes as well, if the establishments decide for themselves that they're just wasting their money anyway.

Which would be bad news for those amongst us who depend on using straws to drink with, and possibly even worse news for the establishments who could be fined for lack of reasonable adjustments and equal access.

http://www.aboutaccess.co.uk/article.php?id=327&item=%91Straw+Wars%92+campaign+angers+disabled+drinkers

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KizzyKazaer

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 05:44:31 PM »
It did say that straws would still be provided on request, though...  They're so inexpensive that I can't see a drinking-place not keeping a supply, especially if they are made fully aware of the implications for some disabled people.

RedAndBlue

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 06:06:07 PM »
The problem is, is that if they do that, it could be a bit like asking for a plastic bag at a shop. Some people might not want to be a "bother" and/or be looked down upon for needing something when "they could have brought one themselves". And that's if they're not social phobic or have communication problems.

It sounds silly, but it's things like this that can escalate into a mindframe that disabled people just shouldn't bother leaving their home.
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SunshineMeadows (on Sabbactical)

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 06:18:25 PM »
The article mentioned Myoo so I did a Google search and found this.

http://strawwars.org/terms/

clicked on the red circle

About :-

ABOUT

The idea is simple Ė either get rid of straws completely or provide a straw only when requested by a customer. If they want one, all they have to do is ask. Itís that easy.

Why? Because billions of straws are discarded every year, filtering into landfill and littering the oceans. This is extremely detrimental to the environment, as plastics canít biodegrade, they last indefinitely Ė breaking down into smaller pieces, feeding into the food chain and potentially ending up on our dinner plates. Not ideal.


Prior to starting Ouch Too I used to post on message boards about politics and environmentalism so I remember reading this story
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch

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Most debris consists of small plastic particles suspended at or just below the surface, making it impossible to detect by aircraft or satellite.

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Plastic photodegradation in the ocean
Main article: Photodegradation

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has one of the highest levels known of plastic particulate suspended in the upper water column. As a result, it is one of several oceanic regions where researchers have studied the effects and impact of plastic photodegradation in the neustonic layer of water.[19] Unlike debris, which biodegrades, the photodegraded plastic disintegrates into ever smaller pieces while remaining a polymer. This process continues down to the molecular level.[20]

As the plastic flotsam photodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces, it concentrates in the upper water column. As it disintegrates, the plastic ultimately becomes small enough to be ingested by aquatic organisms that reside near the ocean's surface. Thus, plastic waste enters the food chain through its concentration in the neuston.


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Effect on wildlife

Some of these long-lasting plastics end up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals, and their young,[5] including sea turtles and the Black-footed Albatross.[30] Besides the particles' danger to wildlife, on the microscopic level the floating debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, including PCBs, DDT, and PAHs.[31] Aside from toxic effects,[32] when ingested, some of these are mistaken by the endocrine system as estradiol, causing hormone disruption in the affected animal.[30] These toxin-containing plastic pieces are also eaten by jellyfish, which are then eaten by larger fish.

Many of these fish are then consumed by humans, resulting in their ingestion of toxic chemicals.[33] Marine plastics also facilitate the spread of invasive species that attach to floating plastic in one region and drift long distances to colonize other ecosystems.[14][dead link]

On the macroscopic level, the physical size of the plastic kills birds and turtles as the animals' digestion can not break down the plastic inside their stomachs. A second effect of the macroscopic plastic is to make it much more difficult for animals to see and detect their normal sources of food.[citation needed]

Sorry about the science lesson but it is important that we know these things. Environmentalists and disabled people should be working together after all most of us want a fairer sustainable world. The people who created the Straw Wars Campaign need to do just one thing that would have made all the difference and that is say something about the fact there are people who need to use straws and so paper straws should be made available.

There are newspapers we all know of that can flip flop this story and ironically enough might even recycle it from Disabled Demand Straws to Environmentalists Deny Disabled People Straws.

RedAndBlue

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 06:29:44 PM »
I just can't see paper straws being a reasonable replacement. Paper breaks down in contact with liquid, even disposable cardboard hospital bowls break down in an hour and they're bound to be made from sturdier stuff. I can't see them remaining useful for the time span it could take someone to finish a drink, especially if the drink isn't room temperature. Heat is a natural catalyst for most interactions, after all.

I agree they need to work together, but there are problems with the solutions posed so far.

Maybe instead of disposable, they could be made of sillicon or something that can be washed thoroughly and reused? Or cups with in built straws, which is a bit James Bond I know.

It also wouldn't be that hard a job to have employees ask the customers instead of the customers asking them.

Whatever the solution is, I just have this feeling that this is one of those matters that can esculate and reflect badly upon disabled people, just like it usually does.
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Yvette

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 06:38:04 PM »
Would you consider  taking a small supply of straws with you in your bag?

That way you can use one whenever you want without having to bother asking. 

They aren't expensive to buy from supermarkets and wouldn't be heavy or bulky to carry around.

My local Tesco no longer has teaspoons and uses wooden stirred sticks instead.  When I asked an assistant why there were no teaspoons she said that customers kept stealing them (nationwide - not just at my local store!) and so they had to stop providing them.

I asked why plastic spoons couldn't be provided and she said they weren't allowed to provide them because of health and safety - apparently children bite on them and when the spoon splinters it can cut the inside of their mouth.

She said that they do keep a few metal spoons and will provide customers with one on request, which is fine by me. 

If I want a metal spoon I can have one.  If not, I can take my own or use their wooden stirrer.

SunshineMeadows (on Sabbactical)

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 06:44:27 PM »
RedandBlue,

You posted as I was writing this,

I see where you are coming from. I can also see how having paper straws available for disabled people who ask for them could be problematic because there are nearly always some people who will make a big deal about help a disabled person is given. However people like that are always going to be able to find something to gripe and moan about.

When I was working I took a bottle of water and cereal bar with me so I could completely side step access issues  >blush< and I do realise is we all did that or have our own straw we would be moving away from an inclusive society.

Having something that can be reused is a good idea but I am not sure whether there would be issues around people not wanting to use something that someone else had first.

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It also wouldn't be that hard a job to have employees ask the customers instead of the customers asking them.

Given that I have seen people asked if they want help carrying their tray of food or drink I can see this option working.
I think the problem is the government has everything feeling so backwards that something as ordinary as having straws available for disabled people becomes an issue.

RedAndBlue

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 09:00:19 PM »
Oh, I would definitely be fine with keeping a packet from the shops in my bag. Tesco's sell like a box of 200 or something for maybe £2ish, and it wouldn't be too hard to put them in a plastic lunch bag to keep them clean.

I'm just thinking of those who, as cheap as they can be, might not be able or willing to, and any chances this situation has to escalate. It's not some specialist equipment, it's a straw, you know? What could be targeted next for environmental reasons that impacts disabled people more than they realise?

It's always just a huge faff being disabled, really, with proper extra expenses all the time chewing up a weekly budget. They're the business with a bit of money to spare, not the disabled people.

My local Tesco no longer has teaspoons and uses wooden stirred sticks instead.  When I asked an assistant why there were no teaspoons she said that customers kept stealing them (nationwide - not just at my local store!) and so they had to stop providing them.

I asked why plastic spoons couldn't be provided and she said they weren't allowed to provide them because of health and safety - apparently children bite on them and when the spoon splinters it can cut the inside of their mouth.

If my Mum was told something like that, she'd say "Well that'll teach the kids not to do it again, won't it?". I'm just blanching at the idea of blood everywhere. Probably for the best. No doubt they'd be targeted next anyway haha

It's good that they lend out the proper metal ones if they're really needed though, shows good understanding. I hate using the little wooden sticks though. I have a thing against wood and paper going all soggy *shudder*

Which is another reason I'm so against the paper straws idea XD. Where's a shuddering smilie when you need one?  >doh<
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RedAndBlue

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 09:11:12 PM »
RedandBlue,

You posted as I was writing this,

I see where you are coming from. I can also see how having paper straws available for disabled people who ask for them could be problematic because there are nearly always some people who will make a big deal about help a disabled person is given. However people like that are always going to be able to find something to gripe and moan about.

Sadly too true. There are many people in fear of those negative responses, and people very willing to give them. I'd hate for this straw issue to be giving those people an extra chance, though.

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Having something that can be reused is a good idea but I am not sure whether there would be issues around people not wanting to use something that someone else had first.

My argument there is, as long as it's been thoroughly washed, then it shouldn't be an issue. People use the glasses, cups, plates and cutlery that's been used by someone else first, right? A re-usable but easy to clean straw should be no different.

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Quote
It also wouldn't be that hard a job to have employees ask the customers instead of the customers asking them.

Given that I have seen people asked if they want help carrying their tray of food or drink I can see this option working.
I think the problem is the government has everything feeling so backwards that something as ordinary as having straws available for disabled people becomes an issue.

It's definitely a sad day when something like the availability as a straw, as quoted is a reasonable adjustment, gets labelled as a "war" between disabled people and environmentalists.
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chelseaguy

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 07:33:31 AM »
i remember when i was young they had paper straws with a waxy coating they were very sturdy.many happy memories of the sharp tingle on the back of the throat when drinking a bottle of coke,it seems to have a different taste and more fizz back then

oldtone27

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 11:41:06 AM »
I remember those paper straws too. You did have to be careful as they would kink if you bent them. They also did tend to get a bit soggy at the mouth end and would then close up. The plastic straw is less hassle to use I think.

How are folk going to use the little juice cartons or will these be exempt? I can't see a paper straw, waxed or not, being strong enough to pierce the foil cover. Hard enough with the plastic ones.

As far coke taste I think you are right it was more tasty, but that may be that my taste buds were sharper too. I expect they are a bit worn by now.  :-(

RedAndBlue

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 02:08:22 PM »
For now, it seems as if the plans are only for bars and clubs, and cafes if they opt-in, in London, and just the straws they serve with drinks, and the straws they have standing free on the bar for people to take.

So packaged cartons with the plastic straws (I love me some strawberry ribena!) aren't included. Yet. Same goes for McDonalds!

But they say that if the plan "works well", they hope to see more establishments opt-in or a wide-spread agreement to minimise usage, like they've done with shopping bags.
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Dark_Divinity

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2012, 02:20:55 PM »
straws made from reformed wood pulp?
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lankou

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2012, 03:30:39 PM »
Stop using straws? How will I drink a Pimms, or a number or types of cocktail. (This is not just a disability issue.)

Pentesalie

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Re: A war on straws
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2012, 03:31:44 PM »
I always carry a couple of 'spare straws' with me in my handbag, just in case the need arises. While my 'Mumming' friends were gearing up to perform, Henry, 'Old Father Christmas', had a very large false beard on top of his own beard, which totally got in the way of his pint, so the spare straw came in very handy.