Ald. Syed Abbas, District 12, is leading the charge to change Madison consumers’ behavior about single use plastic. Theproposed ordinance would prohibit restaurants from providing plastic beverage straws to dine-in customers unless the patron asks for one.
“We will start with the plastic straw as a first step, and we will try to change people’s behavior,” Abbas said.
Geez… it seems to me that an alderman from a medium-sized city should be more concerned with making sure the potholes are fixed and the trash is picked up instead of trying to change people’s beverage consumption preferences. Why does every elected official at every level think they have an obligation to control every aspects of our lives?
But the disabled…
But disability rights advocates worry the ordinance as written could increase stigmatization of individuals with limited mobility. And a restaurant industry group is concerned that the city is unnecessarily micromanaging local businesses.
Bella Sobah, chair of the city’s Disability Rights Commission, said plastic straws are a necessity for people with limited mobility. Putting the burden of asking for a plastic straw on a patron who may have disabilities could create further stigmatization and isolation.
“This community is already facing a lot of barriers in society, and that’s one more thing I think we could avoid,” Sobah said.
Sustainable alternatives to plastic straws, like paper or metal, can cause discomfort. Sobah said paper straws disintegrate quickly for someone who may consume liquids slowly, and metal straws are not conducive for drinking hot beverages, like coffee.
That’s a legitimate concern. You know what else is a legitimate concern? Many able-bodied people want to use a dang straw.