Paper Straws vs Plastic Straws | ReGenWaste.com
Across the globe, many companies and individuals have stopped using plastic straws and instead, are choosing paper straws as an eco-friendly alternative. In fact, a number of large brands including fast-food restaurants and coffee chains have banned the use of plastic straws within their organisation.
In September 2018, McDonalds made the decision to replace plastic straws with paper ones in their UK restaurants. The fast-food chain uses 1.8 million straws each day so their switch to paper straws will allow them to significantly reduce the number of single-use plastic products used with their business. This is a positive step towards protecting the environment from such a large company, but why is it so important?
Why Should You Stop Using Plastic Straws?
Every year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean; this is similar to emptying a bin lorry of plastic into the ocean each minute. It takes thousands of years for plastic to decompose but in the meantime, it contaminates soil and water; harming both humans and animals. Plastic waste is a nightmare for many animal species as items such as plastic straws choke wildlife and block animals’ stomachs.
Although many disposable straws are made from recyclable materials, they are often too difficult to recycle. This is due to the fact that they are extremely lightweight and will usually drop through the sorting screens in recycling sorters, resulting in them ending up in landfills. In fact, it is highly likely that every straw you have ever used still exists in the environment somewhere.
Start Using Eco-Friendly Straws!
When it comes to switching to eco-friendly straws, paper straws are most likely to come to mind. If everyone reduced the amount of single-use plastic straws they were using and began to use paper straws, it would be extremely beneficial for the environment.
As paper straws are biodegradable, they don't take long to decompose. If they end up in the ocean, they will begin to break down within three days. Alternatively, if they end up in landfill, they will decompose back into the earth within 2 to 6 weeks as opposed to plastic straws, which can last up to 200 years.
If you don’t fancy using a paper straw, there are reusable alternatives including:
- Glass - Glass straws are long-lasting and durable; however, they can shatter if not looked after properly. Plus, as they are transparent, they are extremely easy to keep clean.
- Stainless Steel - Stainless steel straws are a great option for those looking for a reusable, easy to clean straw with a long lifespan.
- Bamboo - Straws made from bamboo are a fantastic all-natural alternative that will only take a few months to compost once they wear out.
At Regen Waste, we are passionate about recycling and encouraging individuals to make conscious lifestyle changes to protect the environment. By making a small change and choosing paper straws over plastic, we can have a positive impact on the environment.
To learn more about the struggle against plastic waste, recycling in general or what we do at ReGen follow us on Twitter.