Author Topic: Plastic straws  (Read 1648 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Plastic straws
« on: May 22, 2019, 01:02:52 pm »
Plastic straws are to be banned from next April along with plastic ear buds and drinks stirrers as part of litter control. Except plastic straws will still be available to buy from pharmacies and restaurants and cafes will be allowed to provide them if asked for, because people with certain disabilities need them. Now, I can understand that some people might need straws but not why might need straws made of plastic as opposed to various alternatives. What's the reason? How are they different in use?
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 01:16:20 pm »
AIUI - some disabled people cannot drink the drink quickly enough to prevent a paper straw dissolving (as they do slowly) - and they DO need a straw if they want a modicum of indpendence from a carer.




Plastic straw banning is pissing-in the wind in terms of environmental protection from plastic waste anyway.  It's symbolic and not much else.  My neighbour and good-friend (how do I tell her politely?) makes a big show of using paper-straws but is in the process of having her rear lawn replaced with plastic-grass because it doesn't look tidy enough for her  :facepalm:


We make unbelievable amounts of stuff from plastic and although this is laudable, it's a pin-drop in an ocean of plastic use.
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 01:30:25 pm »
AIUI - some disabled people cannot drink the drink quickly enough to prevent a paper straw dissolving (as they do slowly)
Ok, that makes sense, thanks. I suppose the corn starch ones dissolve more slowly than the paper but might also not last long enough.

Agree it's not going to make a difference in terms of overall plastic use, it's more to reduce litter, like with plastic bags. And symbolism of course.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 01:32:20 pm »
AIUI - some disabled people cannot drink the drink quickly enough to prevent a paper straw dissolving (as they do slowly)


Your other points notwithstanding, I don't recall the waxed paper straws of my youth dissolving as such. They got a bit soggy if you chewed on them right enough.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 01:43:44 pm »
It is nigh-impossible to clean the inside of a straw properly, so disposable makes sense on hygiene grounds.

I don't think I used a straw in months but my life is regrettably not plastic-free.

This is symbolic pissing in the wind IMO.

Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 01:45:19 pm »
AIUI - some disabled people cannot drink the drink quickly enough to prevent a paper straw dissolving (as they do slowly)


Your other points notwithstanding, I don't recall the waxed paper straws of my youth dissolving as such. They got a bit soggy if you chewed on them right enough.
I remember the paper straws of my youth going flat and thus making them useless.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2019, 01:57:06 pm »
I disagree that it is symbolic pissing in the wind. The scale of the problem of plastic in the ocean is enormous. Really enormous. And no, plastic straws aren't the main item in the sea.  However, straws and drinks stirrers are a prime target because they are a single use plastics that, in the main, aren't necessary. Very few people would drink using a straw at home, so why use them elsewhere? It's also something easy for people to change. You simply can't ask people to change their entire lifestyle overnight. Telling people to go 'plastic free' or 'zero waste' won't work, because it would require such a large lifestyle change that people simply won't accept it. Lots of people making a small change is more effective than 1 or 2 making a huge one. More importantly, encouraging people to make 1 or 2 small changes starts them on the road to making bigger changes.

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2019, 02:03:57 pm »
I didn't say it shouldn't be done - and symbolism is a powerful and positive thing for exactly the reasons you describe.  I could maybe withdraw the 'and not much more' perhaps but I'm not that convinced it is.


What we should not do is fool ourselves into thinking that this is enough.  I stand firmly by it being symbolic pissing I the wind but small steps and all that... (small steps are not enough currently - I have no confidence that we have the collective will to *really* change things enough before it's too late).


What this movement to do this shows however, is that is *is* possible to galvanise whole countries to do something positive if you get the message across right.  Let's do it right more often.


Also, on more pessimistic note - kneejerk changes can have unintended consequences.  How long before we discover that we are increasing deforestation rate by a move to paper...?
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2019, 03:50:59 pm »
Why do you need any straw at all (unless you have a disability etc)?
The problem is cafes that just stick a straw in your drink, whether you want it or not. Seems to have become a fashion thing. It is just unnecessary waste.
It could be effective, like the carrier bag charge. It has made people think, and it has changed the behaviour of shops. They don't just give you a bag automatically, you have to ask for one.

Though still, the main source of ocean plastic is the fishing industry. Which everyone seems to be ignoring.

Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2019, 06:02:23 pm »
My neighbour .....is in the process of having her rear lawn replaced with plastic-grass because it doesn't look tidy enough for her  :facepalm:
Many professional football teams in the UK use a certain amount of plastic grass incorporated
in their playing surfaces.


https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2016/10/hybrid-football-pitches-why-the-grass-is-always-greener/

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2019, 06:44:10 pm »
Yeaaaassss, I don't think that's what they have in mind.  There are other around the area which are basically what market traders use in greengrocer stands.  At the same time they also signed the anti-tree-netting petition.  So the birds can nest - just find no food  ::-) .
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2019, 07:46:17 pm »
Now, I can understand that some people might need straws but not why might need straws made of plastic as opposed to various alternatives. What's the reason? How are they different in use?

Here is a handy post that explains it
https://ramblingjustice.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/infographics-for-strawban-suckitableism-advocates/
which includes the following images



Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2019, 08:22:03 pm »
Useful charts, thanks Lion! There are straws made of more materials than I ever imagined. Glass?!?! And more hazards – I hadn't considered using straws with hot stuff at all. I don't really understand "not positionable" though. Does it mean plastic will stand upright in a drink and the others won't due to their weight?
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2019, 08:28:40 pm »
Many plastic straws have a bendable concertina that allows varied drinking angles.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2019, 08:32:12 pm »
Ah! Positionable in that way. Yes.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2019, 08:37:25 pm »
Which triggers the thought that back in the 18th century they used to make mugs with spouts (?caudle mug, but an image search suggests not), I assume they are no more difficult to clean than a teapot spout/very-small-person drinking vessel (this does assume a suitable person on hand to do any cleaning thobut, so perhaps as you were)
and also perhaps not as portable as your reusable coffee cup (you do have one, don't you?)
In the dark, all views are the same.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2019, 08:57:44 pm »
I think hospitals use feeding cups with spouts for infirm adults.

I think the spouts are quite wide and ceramic mugs are dishwasher safe.

Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2019, 09:16:08 pm »
Is stainless steel or titanium more of an allergy risk than polypropylene? I guess stainless might trigger nickel allergies (but then is that a usual problem with cutlery?)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2019, 10:20:51 pm »
Metals make it easier to get burnt. Their hardness makes any fine edge a cutting injury risk.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2019, 10:34:52 pm »
Barakta's been drinking tea through a silicone straw of late.  While I make a token effort to squirt a bit of Milton down it occasionally, I fear what's going on inside it.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 10:40:03 pm »
Slicone surely should be about as safe as it gets
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2019, 05:38:03 am »
Plastic straw banning is pissing-in the wind in terms of environmental protection from plastic waste anyway.  It's symbolic and not much else.
Best one I heard was the mother and her precocious approx 9 year old daughter telling her how she was going all environmentally friendly. She was throwing away her plastic toothbrush and getting a bamboo one. I think she failed to see the irony.  :facepalm: :facepalm: ::-) ::-)
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2019, 12:36:54 pm »
When I was young I appreciated the superiority of plastic straws.  They easily punched through the foil of the 1/3 pint during the school milk break.  That was stopped by decree of Education Minister, you know who. So I do not see any use for plastic straws after the early 1970s.

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2019, 01:02:29 pm »
Well it's going to be a bit of niggle for scale aeromodelling 'cos they can be used for all sorts of cylindrical items (exhausts, machine gun barrels what have you) without adding lots of weight, but we managed without before so I reckon we can manage without after.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Re: Plastic straws
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2019, 01:55:56 pm »
IME my f.e.t.e. bamboo toothbrushes last at least three times as long as the plastic ones did that I used to use. 

There are also bamboo straws, cups, even lunchboxes available out there. 

The options are there, it's entirely personal choice whether to embrace them.