Banning straws will be more effective

I applaud the companies that have imposed a ban on the use of plastic straws in their establishments (Straw Wars, The Sunday Times; Nov 18).

It is about time for a total ban on plastic straws, which are really just a convenience and not a necessity for many.

Most people can easily drink directly from a cup without a straw, without any difficulty.

The objections raised by some National University of Singapore (NUS) students that a "top-down ban was the wrong move" and that "education and choice should go hand in hand", are not realistic and self serving.

In Singapore, education and campaigns have had little success and people still engage in non-civic-minded behaviour out of habit and convenience.

Education and campaigns on littering and being gracious have been implemented by the Government and other agencies, but over several decades, have reaped little success.

Very few make an effort to do what is right. Hence, in many cases, a total ban is more effective to break an unnecessary, bad or unhealthy habit that serves little purpose or is harming the environment.

People who really prefer drinking with straws can easily buy metal straws online at a very low price.

Those with disabilities and the elderly who need straws should still be able to ask for them, and establishments should accommodate such requests.

Susan Tan Lin Neo (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'Banning straws will be more effective'. Print Edition | Subscribe