How do disposable straws hold up in the local debate that the oceans are slowly transforming into a plastic soup? And speaking of things to eat, these broken-down plastic pieces eventually end up in our bodies when we consume fish.

More and more, paper straws are becoming a viable alternative to harmful plastic. I plan to use the airwaves to generate local dialogue about paper vs. plastic straws.

One would think the easiest way to reduce plastic straws in our local environment is to simply stop using them, and switch to either paper or a biodegradable alternative. But easier said than done, because most people I've spoken with pretty much hate the paper straws, calling them wet noodles--at least, initially.

Depending on what you're drinking, paper straws don't last nearly as long as the plastic ones, but if you explain that it's so much better for the local environment and much safer for the sea turtles and other wildlife, I think most reasonable people will say the sacrifice is worth it.

Maybe other people will adapt to the change and simply no longer use a straw.

When we were in Fort Meyers in March for New Bedford Day, the plastic straw ban ordinance had recently been implemented, and a lot of folks were complaining to the waitstaff!

Restaurants and bars will absolutely go through twice as many paper straws, and patrons sipping a thick frozen margarita may bend it while stirring their drink, but a wooden stirrer served with it should solve that problem. Bartenders tell me that one shot of 151-rum poured down the paper straw for a Rum Runner wilts it. So what if it takes two straws to get to paradise? If it's much better for our local environment and marine life, and it's a small price to pay.

Do you support the switch from plastic to paper? Or is it the last straw in environmentalism gone too far?

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 am to 10 am. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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