Plastic straw ban could hurt those with physical disabilities, expert says

Julie Hensler-Cullen, director of quality and education at MossRehab, says phasing out straws could pose problems.

Lynne Adkins
July 29, 2018 - 11:00 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Starbucks, Disney and American Airlines are just a few companies planning to phase out plastic straws, but that may not be as helpful as you may think.

Many people with physical disabilities have difficulty grasping cups and mugs and use plastic straws to make drinking possible. 

Julie Hensler-Cullen, director of quality and education at MossRehab, says phasing out straws could pose problems.

“Similar to how restaurants and theaters are required to carry menus or programs in Braille," she sasid. "My thought would be to include that restaurants or other Disney World, etc, have plastic straws upon request.”

She says paper straws don't have the strength and flexibility needed, and when they get saturated can pose a choking hazard.