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Letter to the editor: Straws are not benign

October 29, 2018

Dear John Gregory Parks (“Straws as WMDs,” Oct. 1, TribLIVE): I was so glad to read your letter. I am glad that you ask straw-users to not litter. However, I ask you to please look further into the problem of plastic waste.

As someone who has, for years, been attempting to avoid and refuse single-use plastics, I agree that the banning of single-use plastic straws seems silly. Plastics are “handy” -- see-through, very light in weight and durable. The durability issue is the center of the problem: Plastics are not biodegradable. They can degrade to be invisible to the human eye, but they do not return to an elemental form. Plastics have enriched our lives, but plastics are very far from being benign.

I think that regulatory action is being taken because recycling is simply not the answer. The banning of straws is emblematic -- painful for some, not enough action for others. I am among those who look to manufacturers of these products for solutions.

The problem of our 100 years of plastic use is very complex -- and it is not just single-use plastics. I beg you to research and the Tribune-Review to continue the discussion. There is no more throwing “away.” I remain hopeful.

Joanne Caffrey

South Greensburg