What’s the Deal With the New “Plastic Straw Ban”?

Although plastics are among one of the top contributors to global pollution, plastic straws in particular are not. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that plastic straws themselves only make up 1% of all non-biodegradable items found on beaches. Plastic rope, nets, bottle caps, and bottles are the main culprits that make up the majority of the yearly 8 million tons of plastic garbage found.  

So to help lessen the damage of plastic pollution on our Earth, there has been a national push for states to enact bans that restrict or eliminate the use of plastic straws by businesses. Some places such as Seattle, Washington and all of California have enacted this ban. Even big brand name companies, such as Starbucks, Marriott, and Ikea, have said that they are beginning to go away with using plastic straws. Unfortunately, however, not everyone is on board with this ban. The movement has also faced criticism from people from the plastic industry, libertarians, and people with disabilities who need straws to drink. This criticism has created a new debate over how many straws are actually used each day, and has inspired people to begin selling metal straw knockoffs.

The First National Survey made a new online poll to question the issue of this new plastic straw ban. Taken by about 2,000 adults from the U.S., researchers found that 96% of surveyers have used plastic straws, that 78% have heard of the recent straw ban campaigns, and that most are open to some form of cutting back. Interestingly enough, the study found that these results were not influenced by political affiliation. This shows that despite politics, people are open and willing to change their habits for the greater good.