We share our views on plastic straw ban in NSW

Our Regional Manager was on Prime 7 talking about the exemption on the ban for the disability sector.

July 29, 2022

Our Western NSW Regional Manager Leanne Allegri had some time in the spotlight recently, commenting on the disability sector exemption for the plastic straw ban.  

Prime 7 Central West interviewed Leanne in Forbes, alongside other local disability experts and advocates, following information from NSW EPA about the ban due to start in November this year.

The EPA ban will apply to any business that serves beverages with straws. The disability and aged care sectors will be exempt, and therefore businesses will be allowed to keep plastic straws on hand for people in these demographics.

Leanne explained that straws made from alternative material like paper can be a choking hazard, and therefore welcomed the exemption for people with a disability who may be at higher risk.

Check out Leanne’s interview here.

We’ve spoken out before on the idea to ban plastic straws, through one of our blogs.

Here’s a bit of what we said:

Materials other than plastic just don’t do the job. They don’t offer the strength, flexibility, and safety that plastic straws do.

Reusable straws in general are hard to maintain and sterilise, which is a potential risk for some with specific health concerns.

Even more so, reusable straws don’t bend and are not flexible, which means they are hard for people with a physical disability to use. In fact, bendy straws were originally invented for people in hospital where drinking from a cup or bottle is difficult.

And there are other issues too.

Paper straws? They dissolve at high temperatures or when used for too long, and can also be choking hazard.

Metal straws? They can get too hot or too cold, and can even be a safety risk for those who have facial tics or for those who make sudden movements.

Biodegradable plastic? Plant plastics can cause allergies and they also melt at high temperatures.

What this shows is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Read the full blog here.