Why Plastic Straws Are Just Now Being Banned



Katelyn Macomber

Recently, several videos relating to the effects of using plastic straws have surfaced, with media sources acknowledging the negative impacts of plastic. Videos such as plastic straws being stuck in turtles noses or in birds stomachs have grabbed the attention of individuals world wide. Due to disturbing videos and images, people have begun to consider ways to change in order to benefit the environment. Continuing problems regarding straws have seemed to stir up participation in the United States for a plastic straw ban. According to Business Insider,  environmental activists are urging Americans to avoid plastic straws. This encouragement has resulted in restaurants such as Starbucks and McDonald’s to plan on having plastic straws replaced by 2020. Replacement straws include paper straws, reusable bottles, silicone straws, etc.

The encouragement to ban these straws grows everyday over media as the effects of pollution raise awareness for the public. Students such as Sammie Kasheta have seen advertising for marine life that are affected by the plastic in the ocean. As a result of her seeing the effects, she ¨donated money in order to help gather plastic out of the ocean.¨ Kasheta feels it is a good thing that people are choosing to acknowledge the effects of plastic straws.

One class the high school offers,  Environmental Science, taught by Mrs. Field, discusses the dangers of plastic, motivating students to gather some background knowledge of this issue. Senior, Alana Ceppetelli, has taken this class and claims, ¨It made me more aware of what I’m using and how it can harm the environment.¨ Students are given the opportunity to participate in learning about the harm in continuing the use and production of plastic straws.

However, support for this cause is not universal. In some cases, these policies caused violence from customers. For instance, one McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Florida was on the news as a result of a fight that broke out between a worker and a customer over a straw.