Starbucks' recent announcement it was to go plastic straw-free in all stores by the year 2020 was generally met with lots of praise. That said, there are plenty who've spoken out against the blanket plastic straw ban.
Disability rights activists were planning an NYC protest against the new policy for Sunday (July 22) when they heard from Starbucks, PBS reports.
Groups like the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled and Disabled in Action remain concerned that if Starbucks eliminates plastic straws completely, people with disabilities would not be able to consume beverages, or enjoy them with comfort.
The coffee giant responded with the following statement:
"Starbucks offers, and will continue to offer, straws to customers who need or request them in our stores.
"Starbucks' recent announcement about straws will not impact the ability of those who need straws to access them. We take an inclusive design approach to all packaging to ensure that all customers will be able to enjoy their Starbucks beverages."
Some were reassured by Starbucks's confirmation, but others were concerned the company didn't specifically mention plastic straws, which was what the BCID requested.
A Facebook post from Disability Rights Washington following Seattle's official plastic straw ban explained metal and paper straws "do not offer the combination of strength, flexibility and safety that plastic straws do".
"Metal straws become hot or cold and offer a risk of injury," the author added. "Some people … will bite through paper straws and they dissolve if the person takes too long to drink and so forth."
"To be clear, they haven't met our demands," executive director of the BCID Joseph Rappaport told PBS, "but we're hoping they will after continuing the conversation."
The New York protest that was planned for Sunday was cancelled after Starbucks reached out to the BCID.
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