On November 27th, 2019, Vancouver, B.C. became one of many urban centres across the globe to ban straws. In response, #OurFinalStraw was created to both raise awareness of this issue and to boost the availability of single-use, plastic straw for Disabled people who require them to eat and/or drink. In the wake of restrictive straw bans, this action is intended to get straws back on the ground for Disabled people who need free and safe access to them.
Whether you are Disabled or not, you are invited to participate in this action by wearing an #OurFinalStraw button or sticker that reads “I have a straw if you need one.”
How to participate:
- Make sure you have at least one clean, single-use, plastic straw handy when wearing the buttons and/or stickers in public. Positionable and individually-wrapped straws are ideal. However, it would be safe for some straw receivers if you were to to use a clean/gloved hand to remove straws from their original packaging and into a new zippered sandwich bag for easy transport and storage. Do not store unwrapped/unsealed straws in bags, pockets, etc. to give to straw receivers.
- If you live in an area that has not banned the sale of single-use, plastic straws, please follow #OurFinalStraw on Instagram and Twitter to connect with others who may need a stock of straws mailed to them. If you live in an area that has banned the sale of single-use, plastic straws, use #OurFinalStraw to connect with others who may be able to send you straws.
- If you are Disabled and cannot carry extra medical devices around with you or cannot afford to purchase an extra stock of straws, please don’t feel like you can’t also engage in this action. Feel free to use #OurFinalStraw on Twitter and Instagram and/or share this post and the button/sticker product page to show your support!
However you choose and are able to engage in #OurFinalStraw action, there are some basic participation guidelines to follow:
- Do not ask questions. If someone asks you for a straw, give one to them. The point of this is to curb the questioning of Disability validity that is used to shame, embarrass, and dehumanize people who require straws to eat and/or drink.
- If you do not have a plastic straw on-hand when you are asked, source one for the person asking. Whether that means pulling a server aside to ask for one, popping across the street to a fast food restaurant or convenience store, and so on, do your best to follow through with your promise to “have a straw” if someone is in need.
- Be willing to stand up for Disabled people denied access to single-use, plastic straws, especially if you are non-Disabled. Ask people if you can advocate for them if the situation arises, and never do so without first asking. Educate yourself on the problematic, ableist nature of banning straws and share this information with people who are anti-straw.
- Overall, be kind, friendly, considerate, and open in your interactions spurred on by #OurFinalStraw.
LINKS TO PURCHASE STRAWS: