Ted Shiress

Sucking It Up

Posted on | June 6, 2018 | No Comments

There are a few things I could do when I was younger that if I didn’t stop practicing I would probably still be doing now. These include getting up off the floor without needing to push on anything; discreetly removing my hand from my crotch and pretending I was asleep the second I heard someone on the landing and running a mile in five minutes. OK one of them might be a lie, however one thing that definitely isn’t a lie is picking a cup up. As a child I found myself able to do this, then after a few spills I started to use straws occasionally, a few more and I used them more regularly and so on until I wasn’t picking up a cup at all. So, maybe through my fault, I am a hardcore straw-user.

This is why I find myself torn on the issue of bars having a full-on ‘no straws’ policy – kudos for thinking about plastics but don’t forget about the spastics! Some bars now offer biodegradable alternatives but few cut it – paper straws get soggy and limp after a few slurps while the super hippy ones don’t work in anything hot. Metal and glass ones are more durable but don’t bend and don’t squash which means you can’t moderate the flow (something you need to do with hot drinks).

Bringing your own straws is also an option but this relies on you never forgetting or never squashing or dislodging them when rummaging in your bag – two things I can’t guarantee from me. My front garden often becomes a graveyard for straws as I knock them out of my bag while rummaging for my key. And so when any of these things happen I find myself relying on a bar for straws once again.

This is why I not only think outright banning plastic straws is not the way to go but I think shaming people who rely on them is wrong. I agree, we do need to stop using them but so far we haven’t found a fully suitable replacement. We’re getting close but until we’re there remember – spastics sometimes need plastics!


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