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Company News

BAN PLASTIC STRAWS. JUST DON’T USE PAPER ONES, BECAUSE THEY’RE AWFUL

2018/09/14

The announcement from Starbucks that the coffee chain will phase out plastic drinking straws in all locations by 2020 expands the roster of places worldwide that have banned the once-ubiquitous disposable item. This is probably good for the environment (though certainly no panacea to solve the problem of ocean plastic).

But as we face a future without plastic straws, one thing is certain: We must not allow the chaos and uncertainty of these times to give rise to an age of paper straws.

Paper straws, which are already ubiquitous in some countries, do not deserve to carry the name “straw,” in the sense of a tool that can be trusted to convey liquid to one’s mouth using the forces of suction. Paper straws undermine the good intentions behind their creation, solving the problem of one single-use disposable with another single-use disposable—and leaving otherwise environmentally-minded folk dependent on the straw, when no straw at all is clearly the better option. Paper straws are an abomination.

Never sipped a beverage from a paper straw? Reach for the closest piece of paper at hand—the back cover of that two-month-old Economist you swear you’re going to read, an aging flier for guitar lessons pinned up at a coffee shop—and roll it into a thin tube. Sip a variety of beverages through it so that you can marvel at how all drinks—fizzy sodas, fresh-squeezed juices, refreshing cocktails of all stripes—take the flavor of wet paper under the tyrannical influence of this drinking straw imposter. Enjoy the mouthfeel of cellulose dissolving on your tongue.