So as many of you may know, a few states have started passing policies banning things that significantly involve excessive plastics i.e. things like straws or plastic bags because of the damage they cause to the environment.
As a waitress, I can tell you that this would mean that if the plastic were to be banned in our state, we would lose the use of our bags and straws. This would make it problematic for certain customers and a lot of people don't consider why that is. Let me list some examples of why banning straws altogether is a bad idea:
Firstly, people can use straws if they don't want the glass to touch their lips. I've had people ask a lot for straws because they are worried about using cups that other customers use.
I come from a restaurant like many others that has reusable plastic cups and of course, we thoroughly clean them at our location and there's nothing to worry about with us, but I understand the concern with them after seeing how gross other cups are at other restaurants.
Also, straws give people with disabilities or who are older and have problems moving, fewer problems. They don't have to pick up their drink to take a sip and it can be more convenient. Or another example, if they have shaky hands, it won't spill all over them.
Another example is if you have problems with your teeth, having a straw helps make things better. I know personally, if I drink too much cold soda it can hurt my teeth and make them feel very sensitive. Having a straw can also prevent discoloring of your teeth because the liquids will never touch them and make them a different color.
I support the movement of trying to limit plastic and try new policies to help the planet but if your waitress offers you a straw do not get mad at him/her. Politely decline the straw or just set it to the side of the table so the busser can grab it later and give it to a table that needs it.
Please consider that some customers may actually really need a straw so don't think that banning plastic altogether will be the best option for everyone at this time.