“Plastic straws are an accessible way for people with certain disabilities to consume food and drinks, and it seems the blanket bans are not taking into account that they need straws and also that plastic straw replacements are not accessible to people,” Katherine Carroll, a policy analyst at the Center for Disability Rights, told Time magazine.
Advocates for the disabled community say Starbucks could have opted for straws made from biodegradable paper, or ones made from metal that could be reused when cleaned. But even then, sometimes those options may not be suitable for people with certain disabilities, according to founder of the One in Five disabled rights campaign Jamie Szymkowiak.
On another note, Reason reports that the alternative plastic lids Starbucks is planning to switch to will be made out of more plastic than the straws and previous lids combined.
In an analysis, Christian Britschgi found that cold drinks include 3.23 to 3.55 grams of plastic products in their lids and straws combined, while the new nitro lids will weigh 3.55 to 4.11 grams depending on the size ordered.