Recently, Starbucks announced that they will no longer be offering plastic straws to its patrons. Following the announcement, the whole world was divided. Those who opposed argued, “I paid $7 for this coffee! I deserve to have a plastic straw!” while those in favor of the change cried, “Let’s save the turtles!” But are reusable straws really saving the turtles?

Graphic by Stephanie Wengler ’23

Let’s face it: most of us only really use a straw when we order coffee from shops like Starbucks and Saxby’s. And sometimes the server will automatically put the plastic straw in your drink! Are we really going to take out the plastic straw and then use our own metal straw? The concept is not only inconvenient, it’s also motivated by cold, hard cash.

Companies like Starbucks know what they’re doing. They are forcefully taking away our straws and guilting us into “saving the turtles” so they can charge us for reusable metal straws. Starbucks wants us to think that they care about the environment, but this is nothing but corporate greed. Starbucks only cares about the buck$.

“They just want to charge us for the straw. This makes me so mad, corporate greed at its best,” one patron stated.

Then, sfter they announced that they would no longer be providing their customers with “single use” straws, Starbucks made matters worse when they revealed the plastic straw alternative: sippy cups. 

“I am not a child, I am a grown woman,” one woman stated. 

Graphic by Stephanie Wengler ’23

For those who refuse to look like a toddler when consuming their favorite cold brew, there are many options on the market for reusable straws. There’s metal, glass, silicone, and even (yummy) biodegradable paper! Companies like Amazon and Swell that make reusable straws are making certain consumers feel great about “saving the environment.” But what about all that plastic that you used to make the cup in the first place?

“Shouldn’t we just all use reusable cups?” one man asked. “If the whole point is to cut down on plastic—I mean the entire cup itself is just plastic. And even if you’re consuming a hot beverage, there’s still a plastic lid!”

Clearly, Starbucks didn’t care about looking like hypocrites, because they were confident that their customers would buy into the gimmick. A pair of plastic reusable straws with a cleaning brush and pouch sells for a whopping $12.28 on Amazon. That’s nearly the price of a cup of their coffee! Who is paying for the commitment of having to carry these straws around in a pouch wherever the go? Not to mention the fact that you only really need a straw if you’re consuming a cold beverage.

The idea of reusable straws it just ridiculous, not to mention unsanitary. I refuse to carry around a reusable straw. It’s disgusting. None of us have time in our hectic workday to clean out the germ ridden straw.

No one wants to do this, but we are being shamed for not buying reusable straws by the companies that manufacture them. Well I for one have had enough. I vow to stand up to these companies. It’s time to start a revolution. It’s time that we all brew our own coffee!

Video by Olivia Reilly ’23

Whether you’ve made the switch over to hot coffee for the fall, or are still sipping iced cold brew, it’s time we stop giving our money to greedy and hypocritical companies like Starbucks. We must take back our God given right to caffeinate. I propose a challenge to all of us: to Keurig, to brew our own single serve coffee, and to house it in a good old travel mug. We’ve all got travel mugs lying around, right? Let’s use them to fight back against Starbucks, let’s fight the system!

While many customers have bought into the whole environmental-sustainability trend and given yet another chunk of their money over to Amazon or Starbucks for a reusable straw, there are still customers who refuse to be taken advantage of by these major corporations. I challenge you all to join my fight and start a home brew revolution. Sign the petition here!

And, oh yeah! I leave you all with one final thought: They make take our straws, but they will never take our coffee!!

Article by Angelique Frazier ’20

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