What we believe
Whilst we acknowledge the impact that single use plastic straws have on the environment, we believe that it is imperative that safe and dignified drinking methods are made available to people with Parkinson's. This includes being able to purchase plastic straws and the provision of plastic straws in local businesses, hospitals and care homes, until suitable alternatives are widely available.
Why we believe this:
Some people with Parkinson's experience dysphagia (eating, swallowing and saliva control problems) and the use of straws is sometimes a necessary technique to enable them to continue to drink safely.
Currently there is no widespread availability of suitable alternatives and, as such, we believe that plastic straws must continue to be available to people with Parkinson's.
What's the evidence?
While we are aware that people do use alternatives to plastic straws, they are not suitable for everyone.
Reusable straws can be unhygienic if not properly cleaned and disposable paper straws can be a choking hazard as they disintegrate, particularly in hot drinks.