Plastic straw bans might seem like a win — they reduce waste, and waste is bad, right? But there are a lot of disabled people who need plastic straws to drink. Plastic straw bans actively hurt those people, as one Twitter thread makes painfully clear.
Twitter user @EhlersDanlosgrl has a degenerative joint disease in her spine. The disease makes it painful for her to pick up a full glass to drink; the mere act causes muscle spams under her shoulders. She has to use a straw to drink comfortably.
So when she went out to a local restaurant to eat, she asked the waitress for one of the straws in her apron. A simple request, right?
Sadly, the restaurant’s policy is to hand out straws only to those who “need” them, like the elderly. The waitress didn’t believe that she had a disability because she “seemed fine.”
The experience ended in embarrassment and anger. It could’ve all been avoided if plastic straw bans were more carefully implemented with the needs of disabled folks in…