Why do people hate straws more than other forms of plastic waste?
November 19, 2019 9:12PM
Straws are an easy target for environmentalists because they are so prevalent and because they're simple to replace or forgo.
Because they're so small and are often made of multiple types of plastic, single-use plastic straws usually can't be recycled. Because of this, it's estimated that Americans alone use upwards of 100 million straws per day (the often-cited figure of 500 million per day has been disputed, but not by much).
Activists have found it relatively easy to convince people to decrease their straw use—some restaurants have started asking if customers want a straw with their drink instead of giving them out automatically. Those restaurants have seen a 50 to 80 percent reduction in single-use plastic straws—that's a big result from a pretty simple fix.
Not only is it fairly easy to get people to cut down on straw use, but there are also a multitude of more eco-friendly options on the market, like reusable stainless steel straws or biodegradable paper straws.
All in all, it's not really about hating the concept of straws or thinking that straws are a worse form of waste than any other single-use plastic item. It's more about the relative ease of convincing people to limit their straw use or switch to alternative types of straws.