Time to Replace Plastic Straw

Avatar Angelo Wijaya
Member since May 4, 2017
  • 2 Posts
  • Age 20

Unlike when you are asked about bag, you will never be asked “paper or plastic?” when the restaurant gives you straw. At least, that is the case in my country. Most of the time, they do not even ask you whether you want a plastic straw or not. They just give you as it is a common sense to give a customer a plastic straw when the customer orders drink. Perhaps they think it is simply the custom.

Some restaurants now are shifting to a new kind of straw. Some use stainless steel straw. While it is true that stainless steel straw is reusable, yet I am skeptical about it. How is the restaurant going to wash it? The restaurant probably has their own stainless steel straw washer. Still, I do not think it convinces everyone. I even heard about another alternative, glass straw. However, the question regarding how they are going to wash it remains.

One thing that we have to consider in reducing the use of plastic straw is people’s preference. Most people prefer something disposable such as a straw. People are used to disposable things. As it is convenient, it pleases almost everyone. In my country, people are not yet familiar with bringing reusable bag or reusable straw everywhere. It is not yet the custom. I can say that people prefer disposable straw, simply because it is convenient. Once a straw is used, it is going to be disposed right away.

Therefore, I believe that the involvement of government in reducing the use of plastic straw is very important. A top down approach would be suitable in reducing the use of plastic straw. I believe so because I think it is not easy to change people’s behavior. I believe that government must push for a policy change. Once a policy is created, the majority of the people would most likely abide it. I believe that by taking action, government shows their effort in gradually reducing the use of plastic straw.

Another thing that has to be taken into account is that we already have an alternative. Nowadays, paper straw has been invented. It is disposable, yet it is biodegradable. People in the past promoted the use of plastic because they said they want to safe trees and that they want to prevent further deforestation. The truth is, we know that paper is recyclable. Today we find recycled napkins, recycled paper cup, and the list goes on. Now that we have an alternative, why don’t we use it?

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