Straws, they’ve been a hot topic of conversation for the past couple of years and the conversation around them has resurfaced as the federal government plans to ban single-use plastics by the end of the year.
The Canadian government announcement saw final regulations banning single-use items such as plastic bags, cutlery, disposable containers and straws. Companies will not be able to sell them from December 2023, and Canada will stop exporting them until the end of 2025.
For some people living with a disability, this affects their everyday life. Their concern is what will happen when the federal government bans the manufacture and import of single-use plastics, including straws.
A disabled activist in Edmonton says the Trudeau government’s move makes her feel unfamiliar as she relies on single-use plastic straws as a life-saving medical device.
“I have to use single-use plastic straws from morning to night,” Karli Drew told CityNews. “Not just to hydrate, but also to replace meals because I can’t always eat and swallow.”
- Canada’s countdown to ban single-use plastics begins
- Edmonton grocery store adopts national ban on single-use plastics
- Plastic straws, grocery bags among the first items to be banned by the federal government
Drew says alternative straws are more problematic and less safe than single-use straws. “Some of them melt at certain temperatures, they contain allergens, we run the risk of hurting ourselves,” she explained. “Because many people with disabilities lack coordination and can slip and get hurt easily.”
Canada’s Minister of Health states that Ottawa is aware that those living with disabilities need plastic straws, which is why they will continue to be sold in packs of 20 on demand for people with accessibility or medical issues, and will also be made available for those who need them in medical facilities.
But the concern of many is accessibility. A director of the Alberta Ability Network says she still hopes to see straws available in restaurants and other places for people with disabilities.
Both the director and the activist say they expect the federal government to consult with disability groups as they move forward with their plans, but the disability activist says she doesn’t believe the ban on disposable straws will have a major environmental impact.
“I want to save the environment,” Drew said. “But that only serves to hurt people and not really help.”
-With files from Sarah Chew
The post Banning Single-Use Plastic Straws Will Affect Those Who Use Them as a Life-Saving Medical Device appeared first on CityNews Calgary.