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Relax, we can still have straws even with a ban on the plastic kind

Relax, we can still have straws even with a ban on the plastic kind
The Los Angeles City Council has asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would curb the use of plastic straws in restaurants. (Richard B. Levine / TNS)

To the editor: The problems created by the the ubiquitous use of plastic straws — causing serious pollution in our oceans, streams, beaches, lakes, parks and streets — is undeniable, something that both the Los Angeles City Council and the County Board of Supervisors recognized by taking action to curb their use in restaurants.

However, the utility of drinking straws for children, the elderly and people with disabilities is also undeniable. My wife and I are in our 70s, and we find straws useful for helping us prevent spills.

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New information about the detrimental effects of plastic straws has caused us to completely stop our use of them. When we were young, drinking straws were made of paraffin-coated paper tubes that were biodegradable and soon broke down after being discarded.

Perhaps it would be wise to solve two problems by getting rid of plastic straws and bringing back the ones that were in common use long ago.

Tom Woods, Rancho Cucamonga

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To the editor: Kudos to the powers that be in Los Angeles for putting forth the ban on plastic straws.

As an open-water diver, a hiker and a guy who actually leaves the house, I know how damaging these pieces of plastic are to the environment. There are 40 million Californians; if each of us used just two straws a month, that’s close to 1 billion in a year, many of which will end up in gutters and the ocean.

Remember when the naysayers were whining about catalytic converters on cars and unleaded fuel? On most days now, the skies here are clear.

I love Los Angeles for being in the vanguard of the future. Let’s keep it up.

Chuck Heinz, West Hills

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To the editor: To illustrate the problem posed by single-use plastic straws, my wife and I walked along the water’s edge of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach recently.

After two hours, we picked up 171 plastic straws along with about 11 pounds of additional plastic trash.

Dave and Pam Perkins, Manhattan Beach

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