Do Aliens need Plastic Straws?

After watching this interesting TEDx talk, I pondered this question ‘Why are aliens ignoring us?’

Aliens want to arrive on a planet populated by intelligent peaceful lifeforms with less Plastic Pollution in the oceans but enough flexible Plastic Straws for their anatomy. Otherwise, this planet will not be accessible to them.

Oh boy, I’m finally sharing my opinion on the present plastic straw crisis negatively impacting independence for the disabled population.

I agree that we must care for our wonderful planet and live in harmony with the animals sharing Earth with us. Plastic pollution is a gigantic problem of our time, society needs to be more mindful of their effect on this unique planet.

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I’m pleased to hear that businesses, supermarkets, Starbuck’s etc are cutting down on needless plastic products. Plastic straws should not be classed as an unnecessary plastic product. In the grand scheme of things, plastic straws are only 0.03% of global plastic waste. We need to target single-use plastic wrapping on sweets, chocolates, glitter, balloons & e-cigarettes etc

Focusing on individual products takes our focus away from the necessary discussions on global waste management. After our oceans are clogged with plastic maybe we can shoot our plastic waste into space.

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Disabled people are trying to live an independent lifestyle in a society and environment that isn’t always fully accessible to them. Nutrition, hydration and keeping healthy is vital in life, we all are supposedly meant to drink 2 litres of water daily.

Interesting question, how do you independently drink if you cannot either lift your arms up or bend down? The answer is a plastic straw (or living in space).

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You might suggest that there are other types of straws available: from metal, paper, acrylic to wax.

  • Paper straws disintegrate in a way that is dangerous for people with swallowing problems.
  • Stainless steel straws are not safe for use in hot liquids and are difficult to hold with just teeth.
  • Glass straws can have injury risks and are expensive.

Straws that are straight are difficult to use because through experience the cup can easily tip over. This is not a big issue with cold drinks, but it is extremely dangerous when dealing with warm drinks. I require a straw which has the capability to bend or deform so that I can grip it easily with my teeth without fatigue.

For me, the biggest benefit of a straw is that I’m in full control of the amount of liquid I’m sipping. Without this ability of the straw, I would easily choke whilst drinking because of my weak swallowing muscles. Who would want to choke in public? The embarrassment would not be the problem for me but the terrible consequences of potentially getting a chest infection leading to an unnecessary hospital admission.

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You cannot call yourself an accessible restaurant if your paying disabled customers cannot access a drink, you don’t expect customers to eat their meal without any cutlery.

The problem with the alternative straw options is that they do not have the necessary attributes of a plastic straw. My solution to the plastic straw ban is simple, venues should stock small quantities of plastic straws to be available on request for disabled consumers. Also, if possible disabled people should try to re-use plastics straws at home.

Please don’t alienate the disabled population or the aliens waiting to arrive on an inclusive accessible planet.

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