It is without doubt that plastic straws are harming our environment. They are often the plastics that slip through the net. Our consumption is alarming. For example, San Francisco uses 1 million per day (soon to change with the imposing city wide ban)!
Could we even think about no straw at all? Hold the straw? It may look very instagrammable and pretty but is a straw necessary – do you really need it?
There will not be an outright ban on plastic straws though as we need to accommodate consumers with medical and physical conditions who need a flexible and durable straw. Re-usable can sometimes be forgotten when we leave home and therefore for such consumers plastic straws will still be necessary in food outlets.
There are alternatives. A quick scan on the internet and there are loads of places to buy eco alternatives to plastic.
Paper – a great and cheap alternative. Although they are still single use! Also, for those consumers who need durable, in terms of not going soggy and therefore an easily bitten through straw, these will not cut the mustard!
Metal – we have just invested in a couple of these, along with the cleaning brush. For those with medical conditions metal may get too hot or too cold!
Bamboo – A great eco alternative, but on the downside they are neither bendy or flexible.
Bio plastic – Although it is plant based this type of plastic needs high temperatures to bio-degrade. Many waste plants do not have the incineration capabilities to deal with this plastic and potentially this kind of straw could end up in landfill. It is still polymerised plastic and it only has to be 20% plant based to be called bio plastic !
As you can see there are alternatives to plastic straws, but as with most things in life there may be lots of advantages (big wins for the environment) but there are also disadvantages to certain consumers. Happy straw hunting !