Other alternatives, like paper and metal, have their own sets of issues
Sure, there are a lot of alternatives to plastic straws, but they are not necessarily better. Paper straws don’t do the trick because they dissolve, and if they don’t dissolve, they can easily be bitten through. Imagine taking a big gulp of an ice cold drink and suddenly there’s a mouthful of paper straw. Gross, right?
Metal is a suggested alternative, but this comes with its own set of issues. Metal conducts temperatures, so a very hot or cold drink would be reflected in the straw. Also, people with symptoms such as tremors may injure themselves on a metal straw if they jerk in a certain direction. Reusable straws, like the ones Gilbert carries around with him, can be forgotten at home, as it isn’t exactly second nature for people to leave their house with their own straws.
“Other types of straws simply do not offer the combination of strength, flexibility, and safety that plastic straws do,” explained the Disability Rights Washington, which is a nonprofit that has offices in Seattle.