Monday, October 12th, 2020...8:57 am

Single Use Plastics, Ableism, and Starbucks

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By Da Beattie

For our first post I thought we could start by talking about Justin Trudeau’s latest announcement to ban single use plastics. This includes straws, stir sticks, grocery bags and more.

To a regular person like me this seems like a good thing. But if you have taken to social media recently or in the past you may have seen some controversy. Many disabled people rightfully have voiced their issues with straws and ableism saying that a straw ban is another form of how the world was not made for people with disabilities. As an abled person myself, I am unsure of how to feel about this, but like any teenager, I made my way to Starbucks.

If you have been to Starbucks recently you may have noticed that they have paper gift cards and paper straws. The signature melt in your mouth feel we all associate with meringues can now be associated with a Starbucks drink.

But did you know that paper coffee cups are not recycle? Because they are coated in plastic/wax, only the plastic cold cups are recycle. Even then, according to National Geographic, only 9% of recycled items actually get recycled (Parker, 2018). In a pandemic where reusable cups are largely not accepted, we must reduce our usage and reliance on disposables.

An easy way to start is to wash out Ziploc bags. Although many companies have started producing reusable alternatives to plastic bags such as Stasher bags which are made of silicone, Ziploc bags are easy to wash due to their flexible but sturdy plastic nature. Because they can hold a shape when creased, they are also easy to dry without having to use a stand to prop the bag open.

I hope this first article has found you in a good place. If you would like to write for BlogUofTO please do not hesitate to email


Parker, Laura. 2018. “Here’s how much plastic trash is littering the earth.” National Geographic.

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