Consider accessibility when banning plastic straws

Before banning plastic straws, organisations should consider the needs of those who are unable to hold a cup or control their bodies (Banning straws will be more effective, by Miss Susan Tan Lin Neo; Nov 22).

These people need straws that can bend, are not too fat, able to handle different temperatures, will not choke them and are comfortable enough to keep in their mouths.

Paper straws are unsuitable for hot drinks. Metal and wooden straws are often too wide. These straws also do not bend well, while silicon straws tend to be too soft.

Plastic straws still remain the best alternative.

We should do our best to protect the environment, but this should not come at the cost of inclusiveness.

I suggest that businesses and government agencies consult with organisations such as the Disabled People's Association to ensure that they do not compromise on accessibility.

Eric Chen Yixiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2018, with the headline 'Consider accessibility when banning plastic straws'. Print Edition | Subscribe