Letter to the editor: Keep plastic straws


The Gainesville City Commission has recently taken away our liberty to choose paper straws or plastic straws. Their reasoning is: We want to clean up the oceans.

The correct solution should be to jail or fine the people responsible for littering. But no, that’s too logical… it makes too much sense. Of course we should clean up our oceans and take care of our environment.

Freedom of choice: Obviously, our city commissioners don’t think you can decide things for yourself. Creeping socialism is taking our individual rights away. “He who sacrifices freedom and liberty for anything deserves neither” is an axiom. I would rather be free than live in the gilded cage of a tyrannical government.

Climate change: What’s worse for the planet, the paper straw or the plastic straw? Paper straws are worse for our environment than plastic straws. Paper straws have a higher carbon footprint than plastic straws. Paper straws thus accelerate global warming faster than plastic straws.

Man-made global warming is bad. We should be doing things to slow down global warming.

To all the environmentalists out there: we don’t like cutting trees! Paper straws are made from trees. Trees oxygenate our atmosphere and provide habitat for wildlife.

Plastic straws are better than paper straws because we don’t have to kill trees. I’m a real environmentalist, a Chief Seattle environmentalist… “whatever we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves.”

Water: water is essential for life. Paper uses more water to manufacture than plastic. There’s an old saying: “you don’t know the value of water until you have none.”

I choose to go with the option that uses less drinking water. Plastic straws are better than paper straws because they use less water to make.

Recyclable: plastic straws can be recycled. Plastic straws not being recycled is a waste management issue. Paper straws end up in the landfill because their fibers are too short to be recycled.

Industry needs a better way to recycle. Waste management likes to dump in landfills. Innovative recycling programs are needed to recycle plastic straws and plastic bags. Plastic can be recycled back into oil and then fuel.

I choose the item that can be recycled instead of the items that will just end up in the landfill. Again, the plastic straw is better than the paper straw.
Plastic straws are cheaper to make, they work better, they use less water to manufacture, and they are recyclable. Two pounds of plastic straws equals one quart of oil.

Can you decide for yourself, or do you need government to decide for you? I am free to think for myself. Do you think paper straws work better than plastic straws? Paper straws literally suck and don’t work as well as plastic straws. Beverages taste better to me from a plastic straw instead of a paper straw.

Let’s jail and fine litterbugs and keep our freedom and liberty to choose what type of straws we want to use instead.

I find plastic straws to be an acceptable risk. The benefits of plastic outweigh those of paper. Plastic is a life-saving technology.

Contact your city officials and tell them how you feel! Email Mayor Poe and the City Commissioners at ccomm@cityofgainesville.org or call them at 352-334-5000 and tell them you want plastic straws back or you’ll be voting them out of office next election.

All it takes for tyranny to prevail is for a few good people to do nothing. Tell them this is the last straw; this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Tell them you are ok with the compostable food containers, but you want your right to choose and use plastic straws back!

  • Poe’s business-unfreindly ban against plastic straws is a political stunt that’s sure to backfire when restrictions on eating in a restauraunt are perceived as increasingly inconvenient.
    The public is already choosing to eat more meals at home where food choices can be healthier, less expensive and where plastic straws are “legal”.

    According to market research by the NPD group, per-person restaurant visits dropped to 28-year low in 2018 while plastic straws were still legal in Gainesville. Eating-out is trending to become “the last straw” for millions.

    Lobby the commission to rescind the ban on plastic straws and vote Poe out of office. Make Gainesville as “Sanctuary Straw City”

  • >