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Ron: How am I going to live my life around a reusable straw?

My straw. (Ron Upshaw,KIRO Radio)

Something kind of silly happened to me yesterday. I was getting my daily afternoon coffee right before the show. I like to be a bit caffeinated when the red light goes on.

I got my usual summer drink — large iced coffee at Starbucks with some room. The barista sheepishly handed me what he called, “our new reusable straw.”

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I did a double take, and took the new thicker reusable straw with me to the half & half station.

Then it hit me, what are we doing? Seriously? A reusable straw? That’s what it’s come to?

About six days ago, Seattle passed a new initiative dubbed, “Strawless in Seattle.”

By next July, they want to have a total ban on plastic straws and plastic eating utensils. So long spork. We barely knew you. They say there’s just too much plastic straw and spork garbage around.

I can only imagine what the meetings were like over at Starbucks HQ. I’m sure they want to be a green company. So in an effort to get out in front of this thing, they put some of the finest minds in chain restaurants together and launched the new, thicker reusable straw. Then someone had to design this straw, and then they had to find a reusable straw manufacturer, and finally ship them to the stores with some training for the baristas. I’m sure there was a flyer or video explaining that they should tell customers all about our new reusable straw.

Only one problem. I promptly threw mine away. I did a non-official poll at work. Nobody is reusing this straw.

I asked a female coworker if she might put it in her purse, and she looked at me like I was a lunatic. “You have any idea the stuff I carry around in my purse?” she asked. “I’d never do that.”

I seriously took a moment to try and figure out how this would work.

In its defense, it is a really nice straw. It’s definitely sturdy enough for multiple uses. But how exactly is this suppose to work? I finish my iced coffee, then throw away the cup and put the 9-inch reusable straw in my pocket and carry it around? Or put it in the console of my car? Then the next time I’m craving a coffee, I take out the dirty straw and bring it into the store?

What are we talking about here?

I get it. Seattle wants to be the most progressive kid on the block.

But do the people that come up with these hair brained ideas ever think about how they will actually work in practice? Do they think about the burden it places on businesses large and small? Does the City of Seattle really expect all of it citizenry to walk around with their own set of utensils and straws by July of 2018?

Maybe take the energy you spent on straws and devote it to solving homelessness. How much plastic garbage do you find in an encampment?

Oh, more than my straw? I thought so.

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