Readers React: Good riddance to the useless, unquestioned use of straws in California

California lawmakers vote to restrict use of plastic straws, keeping state in national spotlight on environment
California is the first state in the United States to restrict the use of plastic straws at restaurants.
(Dreamstime / TNS)

To the editor: Here’s my personal reason for detesting straws that are stuck into my water glasses in supposedly “fine” restaurants: The totally unnecessary straw removes any semblance of upscale sophistication from my dining experience.

The first thing I always do is remove the straw and set it aside. Chalk up another win for useless waste.

I am perfectly capable of lifting a glass to my lips without the “benefit” of a straw. And if anyone argues about hygiene, let him explain the difference between a water goblet or a coffee cup and the spoons and forks that enter people’s mouths.

The unquestioned use of straws became ridiculous long ago. I have no idea why, but the only ones I can imagine benefiting from it are the straw makers. Sorry for your loss, guys; happy for the results.


Kristene Wallis, Valley Village


To the editor: Are there only negatives to the use of plastic straws? Plastic bags ingested by marine life may be harmful. Can we show that this also applies to plastic straws?

Using plastic straws can prevent the transfer of germs from the rims of glass containers to people, thereby avoiding sickened consumers. And, there may well be other benefits aside from the convenience they offer us as we sip a refreshing glass of lemonade during a family barbeque.


There may be times when the pros outweigh the cons.

George Epstein, Los Angeles


To the editor: Restricting plastic straws only at dine-in restaurants won’t help. Employees busing tables throw straws in the trash, not the street.

To have any effect, plastic straws need to be banned for take-out restaurant orders, including fast food, food stalls and food trucks. That’s the obvious source of straws tossed outdoors, getting washed into the ocean via storm drains.

All single-use plastics should be banned, forcing everyone to use safer alternatives. Paper, biodegradable wheat and compostable straws are available now.

Randall Gellens, San Diego

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