February 28, 2018
Disability group One in Five has mounted a campaign in protest to Government plans to stop businesses from stocking straws.
With The Marine Conservation Society estimating that the UK throws away around 8.5 billion plastic straws a year, it’s understandable that environmental groups and MPs alike are calling on the Government to address pollution concerns.
One in Five
However, disability group, One in Five, has raised substantial concerns over the proposal to eradicate plastic straws altogether. The group has argued that campaigners have not “fully considered the needs of some disabled people.”
Set up to “encourage, empower and increase political participation amongst disabled people”, One in Five has mounted a counter argument to the decision to remove single-use plastic straws from businesses. The group argues that most paper and plant-based alternatives are not flexible and can’t be used for drinks over 40°C.
While the group doesn’t dispute that there are many detrimental implications of plastic straw use, it also argues that the disabled community is in danger of being treated unfairly with their removal.
Founder, Jamie Szymkowiak, commented: “Businesses are understandably responding to environmental concerns but, in reacting so quickly, the needs of their disabled customers’ risks becoming an afterthought.” Jamie continued: “We ask that businesses consider the needs of disabled people before ditching plastic straws completely.”
MSP, Kate Forbes, who is leading the argument for the removal of plastic straws is sympathetic to the needs of the disabled community. She recently said: “I recognise that there are some people who need to use a straw and indeed I have a family member with a disability and therefore I understand the concerns of One in Five on a first-hand basis.”
Forbes assured: “No change to the law or business practices should put greater burdens on people with disabilities.”