When the prohibition of alcohol went into effect, numerous bootlegging gangs rose to power and a bloody street war between them followed. It's safe to say the impending plastic straw ban won't have the same results, but it would be cool if it did.
In case you've had straws in your ears for some reason and didn't hear, Seattle's giving plastic straws the old heave-ho. Apparently the damn things are piling up in the ocean and ruining the view for sea life. Why don't the fishes just use the discarded straws? Because they already live inside a giant beverage and don't need to.
So come July 1 Seattle will be the first American city to boldly enact an official plastic straw and utensil ban. No straws are set to be theatrically burned on the City Hall lawn, and bars won’t find themselves the subject of raids or stop-and-frisks. There won’t even be fines. Instead, the city will passive-aggressively work with restaurants and bars still found using them.
The nerve of these people! What are they going to go after next, plastic bags? They have already? Oh, that explains why I keep getting into arguments with checkers at grocery stores.
If you're worried about government agents patrolling around town and slapping a straw out of any beverage they see, that's not happening yet (yet!). Numerous bars and restaurants are set to provide biodegradable straws as an alternative, which are the near-beer of the straw world.
But there are countless concerns regarding these phony straws. We're told they'll save Mother Nature and work in drinks as well as their plastic brethren; that is, of course, unless you're a milkshake fan. Won't somebody please think of the milkshakes? Such straws are barely able to survive the rough waters of a chocolate milkshake with little pieces of banana icebergs in it, and will weakly breakdown. All we ask of a straw is that it transfer the beverage to our lips and not become part of it, and biodegradable straws can't even handle that.
Sure, they'll hold up fine in a Snapple. You can still drink water with a straw like a creep if you want to. But anything thicker will cause it to falter like dried spaghetti in boiling water and sink into the bottom of the glass, never to be found again.
Let's also not forget about crazy and bendy straws, both of which are incredibly hard to find in biodegradable form. Crazy straws turn any drink into a party and I use them for every beverage, even when I'm in the hospital and need a crazy IV drip. More importantly, how many people will hurt their backs because of the absence of bendy straws? That extra craning of the neck to drink without them is exhausting.
All hope is not lost, however. Straw enthusiasts will still be able to purchase all types of plastic straws at grocery and supply stores, so they can be hoarded in barrels, and carried in shirt pockets like nerds with pens. Countless underground speakeasies are expected to spring up as well, filled with outlaws and flappers illicitly using plastic straws underneath the biodegradable ones.
And there are other ways to consume a beverage besides plastic straws, I suppose. You could use spoons, piccolos, rolled-up cash, Nyquil cups, hoses, Twizzlers, Super Soakers, bicycle pumps, slinkies, and of course, chocolate straws.
If none of that works, maybe just try drinking from a glass like a normal person.
Happy straw ban!