Biodegradable Straws: Guilt-Free Slurping

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 10+ years, I’m sure you’ve heard of the devastating effects plastic is having on the environment. And let's be honest, it's not getting any better.

Below I want to explain the devastating destruction plastic is causing to our planet and what we can do about it. Sound good?

Great, Let’s get started: 

The Unforgivable Plastic Problem

It's been no secret that plastic has been destroying our ecosystems all over the world. It's blocking our waterways, killing our cities, and drowning our oceans. It's thought that by 2050 there will be more pieces of plastic in the sea than fish.

And yet, even with unforgivable facts like this, no one seems to be doing anything about it. The main problem is that plastic is generally used as a single-use product. And to make matters worse, it can't biodegrade at all!

The website Earthday estimates that over one trillion single-use plastic bags get used each year, and that's just plastic bags. As I said, plastic doesn't biodegrade; this means the pieces of plastic you used as a child could still be around for hundreds of years later.

So, if it can’t biodegrade, what happens to it?

Sadly, it ends up at landfill sites, where it lives out the rest of its life. It slowly breaks down into tiny pieces of micro-plastic, which can be washed away into our water systems. The micro-plastic then gets transferred into the fruit and vegetables we grow and eat.

And there’s another scenario:

As humans, we can be inherently lazy and messy creatures. Which is why we see so much plastic trash littering our streets. On days where there are strong winds, the plastic is picked up and dumped into our water system.

And this is killing our wildlife, everyday plastic kills animals, and one plastic item keeps popping up. So much so, fast food restaurants have stopped using them due to new legislations and moral obligations.

Yes, I’m talking about plastic straws!

Making the Difference: Biodegradable Straw Alternatives      

In 2018 countries decided to put a stop to single-use plastic straws due to public outrage after videos of turtles having straws being pulled out of their noses surfaced. The damage we are doing to our ecosystem due to plastic straws may well be irreversible unless we act soon:

Here’s the problem:

Plastic straws can take well over 400 years before they even start to break down. That means the straw you used as a child will still be around for future generations to come. And as it breaks down, pieces of microplastic are left behind.

Luckily there is a better option:

Biodegradable Straws can give you a guilt-free slurping experience. You don't have to feel guilty about enjoying your favorite beverage anymore. You see, biodegradable straws can disappear without leaving a trace. 

They're made with 100% natural materials, which means they don't leave behind any harsh chemicals, so they don't damage your compost heap. In the right conditions, biodegradable straws can break down in around three days.

Which let’s be honest, is a vast improvement from their plastic cousin. But, here’s the thing:

With biodegradable straws, you need to know what you're looking for, so you don't get duped into a bad product.

Here are a few things I'd check out:

  1. Material – There's a lot of so-called biodegradable straws on the market that look suspiciously like plastic. Now I'm not saying none of them biodegrade, but some brands are more reliable.

In my opinion, the best option is cane straws, but there are a few things you need to check beforehand. Like where do the materials come from? Your aim is to get the most sustainably sourced materials.

  1. Width – I'm not going to lie; width is pretty essential for biodegradable straws. The thing is, paper can go soggy quickly, making it very hard to drink from. Cane or wide wheat straw makes it easy to enjoy beverages like Boba Teas, milkshakes, and smoothies.
  2. Toxin-Free – You might think that just because you're using a biodegradable straw, you're not doing any harm to the environment. But this isn't necessarily true, some of the fake plastic straws have harmful toxins inside. 

They may not be as harsh, but it's still not good for the environment. As for the paper straws, if they're pure white or colored, this means they will also have some toxins hidden within. 

In other words, make sure you check out what you're buying, or you might not be helping at all.

If you haven't got time to check out the hundreds of biodegradable straws and try to work out which ones are the best, don't worry. Hero's like me have done it for you, so without further ado, here are some of the most reliable biodegradable straws on the market:

YesStraws 

YesStraws have been leading the way for sustainable drinking straws. The company story started in 2018 after drinking straws were getting banned all around the world.

After finding out the damage it was doing to our planet, they decided to take things into their own hands. Which is how these truly sustainable straws started:

Wheat Straws

These straws are incredibly exciting and guaranteed to be compostable. You see, they’re made from actual pieces of organic wheat straw. They come cut into two lengths, which you can choose from to suit your tumbler.

The company decided to use the stems, which are usually treated as waste for a replacement for plastic. So not only do the wheat straws help rid the world of plastic, but they also make growing wheat more sustainable.

Cane Straws

The cane drinking straws are another testament to how you create durable straws quickly and efficiently. The material is entirely renewable and grows ridiculously quickly. They come in two lengths, so they fit any tumbler easily.

Because reed farming was so inefficient, there was often a lot of waste, not only that, but the farmers were quite often living in poverty. Which is why they decided to start using this material, it stops the surplus of waste and makes the farming more sustainable.     

Final Thoughts

I hope by now you understand the problems we’re facing. The planet is under threat of drowning under the mountains of plastic we use. Luckily, we have the chance to change things one straw at a time.

YesStraws allows us to make up for our sins. If you take anything away with you today, please let it be the understanding of what plastic straws are doing to our environment. You have plenty of options out there; all you have to do is make the right choice.  

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