The Paper Straw Crisis

Subject: The Paper Straw Crisis
From: Jacob W.
Date: 13 Apr 2020

To non-paper straw users…

Why are you so upset when you have to use a paper straw? They’re here to help with the environment. Sure they may get soggy in your drink or have an odd taste but the way they taste or how they hold up in water isn’t why they are made and used--They are here to help reduce the amount of plastic that is around the globe in our trash, our water, and our animals.
I work at a fast food restaurant which has a drive through. So naturally, a lot of people order a beverage to go and need a straw to drink said beverage. Recently however, my store switched over to paper straws as a way to reduce the amount of plastic that is used there. Everything was fine with the change… until people who dislike paper straws came in to eat or came through my drive through.
It is shocking how quickly someone can change their mood strictly because of what type of straw they drink from. When people realized we no longer had plastic straws they started to complain about how “terrible” the paper straws are and how “disgusting” they taste or how you can’t even get through your whole drink without it falling apart in the liquid. To be honest, they are not the best possible solution to the plastic straw dilemma. I understand they are not the best quality and they can get a bit annoying after having them in your drink for a certain amount of time. In the end, you came to this store and purchased food and a drink. So when you come to my window to receive your drink and a straw to go with it, I am going to hand you what we have (which is a paper straw).
That is the end of it, I shouldn't have to sit there with the paper straw in my hand and listen to your gripe about how terrible paper straws are.
That being said (because of all of the complaints about the paper straws) my store just brought back plastic straws as well as the paper ones. So now instead of just getting what we have, customers get to choose if they want a paper or a plastic straw.

You would think this would solve the problem of all of the complaints right?


When people come up to my window I now have to hand them their drink and ask “Would you like a paper or a plastic straw with that?” as nicely as I can because it’s my job. When I ask this I get 1 of 3 responses:
1. Paper
2. It doesn’t matter
3. PLASTIC! I can’t stand those paper straws! They’re so terrible! I’m glad you guys finally got plastic straws again…

I prefer 1 or 2 because I am all for reducing plastic waste and saving the turtles and whatnot. I have 3 silicon straws and a metal straw just so I don’t have to use plastic straws… But when people say the 3rd option, I just have to sit there, nod and smile at them while they basically yell at me about how awful and useless paper straws are.
It’s gotten a bit old hearing the same thing over and over again but I still sit and listen to it because I have to. It is just repetitive at this point. It is a one time use item. So when you’re done with it you throw it away regardless if it is made of paper or plastic. If you care so much about your straw then you should go out and buy a reusable one so you never have to use a paper straw EVER again.
Meijer sells silicone straws in a 4 pack for $5. You can get a metal straw for $2. A lot of art fairs or college fairs hand out metal straws FOR FREE with their logo on the outside of the container so they can represent their school or organization. It is really cheap and super easy to go to a store and get a reusable straw so you never have to worry about the whole paper straw fiasco. And if you’re worried about losing the reusable straw you bought? I just told you Meijer sells 4 packs for $5. Put one in your car, one in your purse, wallet or pocket, one in your bedroom and one in your kitchen.
There are so many ways to get out of using paper straws AND to reduce plastic waste available-- We should all be trying to rid our planet of all of this one time use plastic because it is just polluting our waters and our animals.
There are websites built to try and reduce plastic use--There are hundreds of videos about all of the plastic that is around the globe just sitting and polluting everything around it. To be honest, a paper straw should really be the least of your worries… especially if you’re still in the workforce or going through the education system.
A paper straw is not as big of a deal as you are making it. But a plastic straw? That could be the last thing a bird or a sea turtle ever eats because they thought it was food and then choked on it. Stop complaining about paper straws to people who don’t care about your opinions on things so small. There are many more important things in life and you seem to be missing them because you’re too busy yelling at me about paper straws.
A fed up drive-through worker