Starbucks’ recent news to get rid of plastic straws at all its stores by 2020 has raised concerns among disability rights groups.
After the coffee chain made the announcement last week, activists said the elimination of straws could negatively affect some people with disabilities and planned to protest the decision.
“Eliminating plastic straws can cause many people with disabilities like myself not to be able to eat or drink in a restaurant, in a cafe…it’s more than just a convenience. It is a necessity for people like us,” Sharon Shapiro-Lacks, a board member at the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID), told PBS News Hour.
Several groups in New York City, including BCID and Disabled in Action, were prepared to gather outside a Starbucks in Union Square on Sunday after the annual Disability Pride Parade. But after speaking with Starbucks Global Director for Environment Rebecca Zimmer, the protest was canceled.
纽约市BCID和残疾人行动等在内的几个团体，准备周日在结束残疾骄傲游行(Disability Pride Parade)后聚集在联合广场的星巴克外面。但与星巴克全球环境总监丽贝卡·齐默(Rebecca Zimmer)谈话后，取消了这一抗议活动。
Starbucks released a statement Friday saying stores will continue to offer straws for those who request them.
“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,” the statement read.
But while Starbucks has acknowledged the activists’ concerns, Joseph Rappaport, executive director at BCID, told PBS they aren’t yet satisfied. “To be clear, they haven’t met our demands, but we’re hoping they will after continuing the conversation,” he said.
但是，尽管星巴克承认了活动人士的担忧，但BCID的执行董事约瑟夫·拉帕波特(Joseph Rappaport)告诉PBS，残疾人权利群体仍不满意。 “明确说，他们还没有满足我们的要求，但我们希望他们能在继续谈话后满足我们，”他说。
After this weekend’s phone call with Starbucks, Zimmer said it remained unclear whether the straws offered will be plastic, an important factor to those who need straws.
In an open letter posted to Facebook by the group Disability Rights Washington after Seattle’s decision to ban restaurants from giving out plastic straws and utensils unless requested, the organization touted the importance of plastic.
“Other types of straws simply 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. Some people…will bite through paper straws and they dissolve if the person takes too long to drink and so forth,” the post read.