Are you looking for a more eco-friendly straw that doesn’t kill the environment, but paper straws just aren’t doing it for you (or rather, they’re falling apart and leaving an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth)?
Well, you’re in luck because there’s a shining solution right here: completely biodegradable, PLA-free sugarcane straws.
Of course, before we can get to that, we’ve got to discuss why these are the most environment-friendly straws and a better alternative than paper straws. Here’s everything you need to know about straw alternatives and how you can get free samples of sugarcane straws.
Which Straws Are Eco-Friendly?
While we can all agree that plastic straws are dangerous to the environment and kill marine life, there are a few misconceptions about other options.
Are Metal Straws Eco-Friendly?
Metal straws are infinitely reusable, so they must be good for the environment, right? That would be the case if everyone already had a metal straw they used for everything.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it is.
According to this study, the energy it took to produce a singular metal straw equated to around 90 plastic straws. With dwindling fossil fuels and other resources, this probably isn’t the best option.
Additionally, the carbon emissions from metal straw production are hurting the planet just as much as it’s helping.
Are Paper Straws Eco-Friendly?
Generally speaking, yes, paper straws are relatively Earth-friendly straws. Key word, “relatively.”
Paper straws are still made of paper, which requires cutting down trees and grinding them into a paste. Are they better than plastic? Definitely. Does that mean it’s worth having it disintegrate in your cold beverage while you’re still trying to drink it? No comment.
Also, while PLA straws are biodegradable, many of them aren’t even compostable, and they probably won’t fare well if you put them in your garden’s compost pile.
You should also know that the fuel expense of constantly shipping and transporting one-use, disposable straws has its own ill effect on the environment.
Are Silicone Straws Eco-Friendly?
Similar to paper straws, silicone straws are eco-friendly but have environmental drawbacks.
While they are reusable, they are neither biodegradable nor compostable. That means if you break them, lose them, or throw them out, they’re hurting the planet just as much as plastic straws are.
The cost of replacing silicone straws has a counterintuitive effect on nature. Not everyone will break, replace, or lose their silicone straws, but think of all the people who will.
What Makes Up an Eco-Friendly Straw?
The most environmentally friendly straw is one made of a material that is both biodegradable and compostable.
The main difference between “biodegradable” and “compostable” is that compostable materials will provide nutritional benefits back into the ground, while biodegradable materials may not.
All compostable materials are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable straw materials are necessarily compostable.
But why is this important? To sustain a healthy environment, we need to create a cyclical infrastructure, which means creating a way of life that gives back to the ecosystem just as much as it takes.
So yes, while paper straws avoid clutter, they do not return what was expended by their production.
The Sugarcane Straw
The best alternative to plastic straws is undoubtedly sugarcane straws. They are plant-based and completely economical and don’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth when you finish drinking. As a matter of fact, they don’t have any taste at all.
The sugarcane straw is both biodegradable and reusable. You can expect a degradation rate of 90% over the course of a year in organic soil, plus they’re free of PLA (polylactic acid) and BPA (bisphenol A). In short, PLA is a type of plastic (which we’ve already established is terrible for the planet), while BPA is a toxic chemical commonly found in bottles and straws that could potentially have harmful effects on your health.
What’s more, sugarcane straws are reusable and won’t fall apart in cold drinks. Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty if you throw them out since they’ll actually have a positive effect on nature. You can simultaneously save the environment and retain your enjoyment of drinking; it’s a win-win.
Here are some frequently asked questions around the web about plastic-straw alternatives:
How long does it take for paper straws to decompose?
Paper straws only take 2 – 6 months to decompose; however, as we previously mentioned, they do not positively reinforce the environment. Sugarcane straws on the other hand only last 12 weeks in a garden compost bin.
Are sugarcane straws edible?
While they may sound delicious, sugarcane straws are not edible. They’re compostable and great for gardens, which provides nutritional benefits for the soil. Sugarcane straws only last 12 weeks in a garden compost because they are 72% biodegradable.
Do sugarcane straws taste sweet?
Nope, sugarcane straws are virtually tasteless. They won’t fall apart, nor will they impart an unwanted flavor to your beverage.
The Bottom Line
The environment is dying, and we need to revert to a more sustainable means of production if we wish to extend our time here on Earth.
While you may be inclined to turn to paper straws, they’re not worth the effort. In addition to their own detriments to the ecosystem, they’re just unpleasant to use. Furthermore, metal straws expend copious amounts of fossil fuels, and silicone straws aren’t remotely biodegradable.
But you’re not out of options because there’s an even better alternative. Sugarcane straws are more eco-friendly than any paper straws you can get and actually provides back to the environment when you finish using them.