What is it about paper straws that makes them so appealing to people who want to do their part in saving the environment? Why would a person who is trying to conserve resources choose instead, a material that requires more processing and transportation than plastic or metal? The answer may be less altruistic than you might think.
We all know plastic straws are terrible for the environment. They can take up to 500 years to decompose in landfills, and oftentimes end up in our oceans where they endanger marine life. So it would stand to reason that paper straws must be a much more environmentally friendly option, right?
The truth is that paper straws are not actually any more environmentally friendly than their plastic counterparts. In fact, they may even be worse for the planet. This is because the process of making paper straws requires a lot of energy and results in the emission of greenhouse gases.
In addition, the production of paper straws leads to the destruction of forests, which means that fewer trees are available to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
This article explores if paper straws are really as eco-friendly as people think they are, Or if they are just a band-aid solution to a larger problem?
What’s Behind It?
The push to paper straws is the product of two intersecting trends. The first trend, which has been building for years, is a growing awareness of the environmental impact of disposable plastic products, especially straws. The second trend is the rise of the so-called ethical consumer, people who are willing to pay more for products that meet their ethical standards.
Together, these trends have led to a backlash against disposable plastic straws. In some places, this backlash has resulted in bans on plastic straws. In others, it has led to a switch to paper straws.
A greener option, but not a green one.
Everybody knows that paper straws are better than plastic ones because they're biodegradable. Well, at least that's what we're all being told. The problem is that even though paper straws will decompose, there's still a chance that small animals could swallow these little bits of paper.
In addition, there are environmental concerns about the manufacture of paper straws. The process of making paper straws requires a lot of energy and results in the emission of greenhouse gases. In addition, the production of paper straws leads to the destruction of forests, which means that fewer trees are available to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Plus, like plastic straws, Paper straws are still single-use waste items which are not ideal for the environment as their demand and overall production will increase over time. It is not hard to see how all of these factors together make paper straws a less-than-ideal replacement for plastic straws when it comes to environmental friendliness.
Ever finished your drink so quickly to avoid the inevitable sog of a paper straw? They turn mushy and bendy very quickly, meaning they tend to fall apart before you’ve even had a chance to enjoy your drink.
Not to mention the papery bitter aftertaste that is difficult to get rid of, sometimes. The truth is paper straws tend to dissolve really quickly in drinks which can make them really impractical for use. Moisture and contact with liquids make the straws fall apart and disintegrate quickly.
This means that if you're not drinking your beverage right away, you'll have to use a new straw which defeats the whole purpose of using a paper straw in the first place.
The answer to this question is not clear-cut. On the one hand, paper straws do have a smaller environmental impact than plastic straws. On the other hand, the production of paper straws requires a lot of energy and leads to the destruction of forests.
Ultimately, whether or not paper straws are more environmentally friendly than plastic straws depends on your point of view. If you are more concerned about the environmental impact of disposable products, then paper straws are a better option than plastic straws. If you are more concerned about the impact of manufacturing processes, then paper straws are not as good as plastic straws.
The best of both worlds.
Mr. Stroodles has created the perfect solution to the paper vs. plastic straw debate- Stroodles' PASTA Straws!
Paving our way to a better future, one Stroodle at a time!
At Stroodles, we offer a sustainable straw option that is both durable and eco-friendly. Stroodles' straws are made only of wheat and water- no dyes, chemicals, or other harmful materials.
Our straws are also 100% biodegradable, edible, and vegan. They are perfect for those who care about the environment and want a sustainable straw option that doesn't sacrifice quality or convenience.
Plus, they are FLAVORLESS, drink after drink, so there's no need to worry about that unwanted paper taste.
What's not to love?
Try Stroodles' straws today and help make a difference for the environment! You can get them online here.