By now, most people know about the massive conversation surrounding plastic straw bans, which are designed to reduce waste caused by single-use plastics. Straw bans have been enacted by companies such as Starbucks, which plan to get rid of plastic straws in its stores worldwide by 2020. Even cities like Seattle have created ordinances and legislation surrounding the use of plastic straws. But, as straw bans have gained traction across the world, the disability community has expressed their concerns about these regulations' impact on disabled people.
As disability advocates like Alice Wong and s.e. smith have explained in numerous op-eds, folks within the disability community rely on plastic straws for a wide range of reasons — including mobility issues, sensory sensitivities, and more. While some people have suggested disabled folks make the switch to sustainable paper, metal, or bamboo alternatives, many straw alternatives non-disabled people are suggesting can pose a both a financial and health barrier to those with disabilities. Twitter user @sarahbreannep even designed a handy chart that explains why plastic straw alternatives are, more often than not, an infeasible option for some disabled folks.
Despite the fact that the hashtag #SuckItAbleism has been trending for several weeks online, with hundreds of disability advocates weighing in, some people in support of straw bans still don't understand why outright straw bans can harm people with disabilities. Bustle spoke with seven people about why they are against the move to ban plastic straws — and what can be done instead.