Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

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By Veronica Aguirre-Dutton

Plastic straws are wreaking havoc on our environment and they need to be banned immediately in Santa Barbara County.

In order for us to take care of our beautiful city beaches, and make choices that take care of our planet, we, as a strong community and county, should ban the single-use plastic straw. Many cities have already ditched the plastic straw, like Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo. The decision to ban plastic straws in Santa Barbara County will profoundly impact our oceans health, and our health in a positive forward step to making more eco-conscious everyday choices. Plastic straws are made from polypropylene which comes from petroleum, they are not recycled, and they do not biodegrade. They are piling up! Due to its single-use purpose by the consumer, the straw is trashed within approximately 20 minutes. Every day, 500 million straws are thrown away.

This enormous amount of straws could wrap the circumference of the earth 2.5 times. Straws are among the top ten of the most hazardous plastics used by Americans. By 2050, it's been reported that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Available on the market for purchase are metal straws, glass straws, recyclable paper straws, bamboo straws and even edible straws. Restaurants can provide a reusable straw by request or switch to paper straws which are the fantastic alternative. Some restaurants who have already made the switch are proudly reporting a decrease in cost due to now stocking the paper straw and only supplying a straw upon customer request. But what about my orange mocha frappuccino? Coffee houses offer mug discounts when you bring your own!

There are several reusable bottle companies or even the classic mason jar that sell a reusable cup that includes a metal lid and metal straw, thus making it ideal for the coffee drink to be entirely waste free and at a lower cost. As for social drinks at the local bar, maybe we shouldn't be sucking down the alcohol that quickly and instead enjoying the savory sip of the cocktail. The options to replacing the plastic straw are endless; and, there are simply no excuses to make this important shift for each different kind of business that sells drinks in our county. Please go to change.org, search “Ban Plastic straws in Santa Barbara County” and please sign the petition. 


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38 Comments

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Wild Bill Feb 20, 2018 05:59 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

All of these straw ban people more than likely own multiple cats. Imagine how many more beautiful wild song birds would be alive in our community if these people didn’t live here with their cats. We should ban their cats.

a-1545006443 Feb 18, 2018 07:22 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

I think a MARKET for all the stuff we assiduously put in our recycle bins is a crucial component. We have no idea how much of it is being treated as trash when it can't be sold. I gave up on some little stuff; I no longer put empty cardboard TP rolls in recycle. IF something as small as plastic straws were recycled, how much difference would it make? Better we work on glitter and plastic confetti. Who am I kidding -- too many problems to solve. To hell in a handbasket! Don't reproduce.

a-1545006443 Feb 18, 2018 12:35 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

One of the big issues with going back to paper straws is that using them to drink milkshakes, malts, and frozen margaritas, is impossible. We go to the Foster's Freeze in Carpinteria a couple times a week to have a pineapple milkshake. It's difficult enough to drink these shake with a plastic straw, but there's no way using a paper straw. The paper straw, as many of you will recall, will basically "pucker" under the suction, rendering the tubular implement useless. People just need to be educated about recycling straws, where they eventually find their way to the sea, where they can be ingested by a variety of wildlife. That is the easiest solution in my book.

a-1545006443 Feb 18, 2018 02:28 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Apparently plastic straws don't get recycled, even if you put them in your recycling bin. Something about them being too small for the processing machines, I don't know.

biguglystick Feb 18, 2018 11:23 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Plastic, ALL plastic, is harmful to the environment. We really shouldn't use straws. I have a metal straw that I carry with me, but even though I'm a very dilligent environmentalist and I care deeply about our world, I forget. The best solution would be a switch to paper straws. Easy Peasy. Problem solved.

a-1545006443 Feb 18, 2018 10:52 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

REX. Sometimes you post on Edhat and I read your post and nod and say to myself, "Yes. Rex gets it." Your post here, however, makes me think of what my dear old Mum used to say of such diatribes: "He's really showing his ass, isn't he."

REX OF SB Feb 19, 2018 08:58 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

@10:52 a.m.— Re: your dear old Mum: Give her a new hair bow and a salty snack and she’ll be fine. All they want are salty snacks.

a-1545006443 Feb 18, 2018 10:45 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Veronica: Thank you for posting this. I pick up plastic straws off our local beaches. I pick up plastic straws at our local parks. When plastic straws find their way to the ocean, they not only add to the problem of plastics in our oceans, they create problems for sea turtles and other marine creatures.

a-1545006443 Feb 18, 2018 09:59 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Your city council has fooled you into believing that this is an important issue, one of many useless items they waste time on while ignoring the real problems of the city. Things like plastic bags, leaf blowers, food trucks and policing the "urban forest" are trivial but keep us arguing over the minutiae while the big problems are never solved. Imagine if they focused on the important issues like transients, homelessness, water, crime, pensions, and finances with the intentions of actually doing something instead of endless studies and kicking the can down the road.

tomtech Feb 18, 2018 11:16 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

what are we to do , use a piece of Licorice ? Black is my favorite . lol I think special paper might be ok.

seaninsb Feb 18, 2018 09:05 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

What about all the people that need them for medical reasons. Fractured jaw that’s wired shut, so they use a straw. Or wisdom teeth extract from all kids, they need to use straws. This is such a ridiculous request, it’s like saying, let’s ban toilet paper, all paper particles end up in the ocean, Yada, yada, yada.

horsegirl Feb 20, 2018 06:11 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

pretty sure you're not supposed to use a straw after wisdom teeth extraction because the suction rips out the stitches just fyi!

ladylagomorph Feb 18, 2018 08:34 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Has anyone noticed that now that we buy plastic bags, instead of the free ones we used to get, they are four to five times thicker than the old free ones?

a-1545006443 Feb 18, 2018 07:18 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

because they're intended to act like the ones most of us now use. They're intended for re-use. The older ones weren't even though we all did reuse them. (Didn't we?) I never bought a trash bag til the bag ban. Glad to have found 4 gallon ones yesterday.

EastBeach Feb 18, 2018 12:34 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

I don't buy plastic bags. I keep reusable bags in the car and throw 'em in the washer now and then. Easy peasy,

a-1545006443 Feb 18, 2018 08:22 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

I use a straw because I can’t stand the taste of yucky water the restaurants use to clean their glasses.

TomTomTomTom Feb 18, 2018 08:08 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Ban Tabarbara CA. Home of the ban! Is this really a problem worthy of legislation? I dont think so. We need our politicians to focus on the big financial issues like pension reform and tax reduction, not small, petty bans on things that really dont impact us all that much. I appreciate the OP's passion, but maybe she should focus on selling a better straw instead of banning them... Or stop eating fast food.

a-1545006443 Feb 17, 2018 09:23 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Big whup. Ban the plastic straws and provide paper ones like many countries. Just don't tell Trump the scorched Earth President! He'd likely start more oil drilling & fracking to make more plastic straws to sell the Russians.

Lucky 777 Feb 17, 2018 06:13 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

For the amount of money the county supervisors would spend to create a commission to investigate the option of banning straws ..... they could just follow the money example of shopping bags. If I have to pay a dime for a bag I rather quickly train myself to bring a reusable bag. Paper straw free, plastic a dime, problem solved.

MountainMan4865 Feb 17, 2018 05:58 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Have you ever tried to use a straw after dental work? It's hilarious! One one hand, I totally get the ridiculousness of this, in light of everything else going on in the world. On the other... Thank you! for shining a light on something that we should be aware of. Single use anything, that is not recyclable or reusable should be under scrutiny. Everyone has to carry a torch for something, and I'm so glad for that.

420722 Feb 17, 2018 04:09 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

People fighting to end the use of straws because they are so harmful to the environment but I’m sure they ALL drive a car. Ugh.

REX OF SB Feb 17, 2018 03:47 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Never mind plastic straws, the real menace is crockery and china dishes. Every day, dishes are accidentally broken, causing shards of sharp material to fly through the air and land on the floor, where feet and hands can be severely lacerated in the ensuing confusion. This has been going on for centuries. We must stop the carnage. BAN ALL CHINA AND CROCKERY DISHES NOW!! There is no reason that prepared food can't be brought to the table in large communal (metal) vessels, into which diners can simply dip their hands to retrieve the food—kind of like how Helen Keller showed you in the early part of "The Miracle Worker." ("It's WATER, Helen.") Plus, that's sure to liven up any dinner party. Please make your views on this known to your local legislators. (Are you listening, Hannabeth and Salud?) Thank you.

420722 Feb 17, 2018 02:35 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

I’m sorry but I haven’t heard of any mass murders by straws yet. We have much bigger issues like mental health that should be of greater concern to anyone at this time. And why the hell would you want the servers to be punished and not he makers of the straw? I will not be signing your petition.

a-1545006443 Feb 17, 2018 03:51 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Capitalism will be able to fix this problem , or at least make a dent in it. Once edible and biodegradable straws hit the market, places like Starbucks will switch over to them. And no, straws seldom murder people, but they do cause misery to wildlife and the environment. We can fix the straw problem and still deal with big issues like mental health, the economy, etc. It's rarely an either/or choice. But we as consumers will need to make it clear that we want an environmentally safe solution.

Z Feb 17, 2018 02:28 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Easy problem. Heavier fines and jail sentences, deportations, big R&D program for replacements, recycling with a deposit program, background checks for licensed users, education program starting in preschools and maybe straw monitors in the old-folks facilities. We could mandate tethers, either to the cup or bottle or to discrete piercings of the users' lips.

a-1545006443 Feb 17, 2018 02:17 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

We had paper straws when I was a kid. They were fine. Let's go back to those while we wait for an entrepreneur to develop good edible straws.

EastBeach Feb 17, 2018 01:04 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

You see metal straws all over Argentina. Everyone uses them to drink mate (a hot tea) which is almost like their national beverage. When it comes to human-scale endeavors, what seems trivial on a personal level can have global impact. This is interesting enough where I'll read up on it.

a-1545006443 Feb 17, 2018 11:55 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Uhhh sorry but nope. It is near impossible to properly clean a reusable straw due to its shape, and I'm not going to drink out of cups that have touched other people's hands at the place where my mouth goes. Recyclable straws are not a business-friendly option cost wise, compared to plastic. There are WAY bigger environmental fish to fry than plastic straws.

a-1545006443 Feb 17, 2018 11:45 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

WTF is this petty craziness now? Seriously? With all the problems we and the country are facing? I'd like to know where the money trail of this leads, into whose pocket (probably an obvious answer). I think we need to ban petty silliness like this!!!

a-1545006443 Feb 17, 2018 11:38 AM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Veronica, please tell me if any of the following is incorrect and this is really what you are pushing:..................."A group of California legislators wants to punish waiters who offer “unsolicited” plastic straws to customers with a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. Democratic California Assembly Majority Floor Leader Ian Calderon has introduced a bill that could put waiters in jail for offering their patrons a plastic straw without them asking for one. /////Veronica....six months in jail? Is this what you want? Really? Six months in jail?

a-1545006443 Feb 17, 2018 04:00 PM
Ban Plastic Straws from Santa Barbara

Look on Change.org. All Veronica asks is for the county supervisors to investigate banning plastic straws. Not asking for punishment, penalties or anything like that.

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