There’s been a big fuss about plastic straws in recent years. And rightly so. They’re small, lightweight and end up where they don’t belong in massive numbers. They’re used briefly and then tossed, but continue to pollute environments for hundreds of years or more, with well over 8 billion estimated to be littering the worlds beaches alone.
It’s easy to see why straws became the poster child for our bad plastic habits. Of course, the problem is much bigger than straws and we need to stop using all sorts of single-use plastics. But straws are an easy place to start. Firstly because we can often easily do without them altogether, and because there are good sustainable alternatives readily available.
At GREEN HOME, we have always recommended paper straws as the most sustainable, widely available disposable option. Paper is marine degradable and will break down if it ends up in river and ocean environments, which straws frequently do.
Quality Matters – not all Straws are Created Equal
Currently, in our mad rush to ditch plastic straws, a lot of alternatives are entering the market. This can be confusing for consumers. Also, sadly, not all of these products are good quality, or even what they claim to be. And when it comes to paper straws, some of them fall apart or are uncomfortable to drink from. This can stop people from trusting biodegradable products, and can potentially harm, not help, the environment.
So, while we recommend paper straws first, we want to add – make sure you’re getting good ones. They should be well designed and made from sustainably sourced paper. We stock paper straws that are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. They are sturdy and hold their shape in drinks. And they still come at a very reasonable price.
We realize that paper straws are an adjustment from plastic, which are very easy to use. But that convenience comes at a high cost to wildlife and ecosystems. We can often do without straws altogether, but when they are really needed, good quality paper straws are still easy to use, and are much kinder to nature.