Why Bamboo and Wheat Make Good Plastic Straw Alternatives
Australians use around 10 million straws every day. This works out to more than 3.5 billion each year.
This wouldn't be a problem if straws broke down within days or even weeks. But plastic doesn't work that way. Let's have a captain cook at why plastic straws need to be replaced, and what plastic straw alternatives are available.
Why Stop with Plastic
Plastic has any number of problems. Most humans have the good sense not to bog it. We also have the opposable thumbs and tools to keep it from getting stuck on our bodies.
Animals don't have either of these advantages. We have seen the pictures of fish caught in the plastic straps used to hold soda pop together. Or even the turtle which got caught in a milk bottle cap piece.
And while these are tragedies, they don't represent the worst problem of all. Plastic does break down into smaller and smaller pieces. But then creatures at every level of the food chain eat them.
These don't quickly make it into human stomachs, but they will eventually. But we shouldn't need to ingest these chemicals for them to become our problem.
Plastic Straw Alternatives
There are several available alternatives to plastic straws. The goal needs to be both the replacement of plastic and the reduction of straws used.
Here are two alternatives which you might start seeing more of soon. Bamboo and wheat straws.
Benefits of Bamboo
Bamboo is a sturdy wood, making straws from it will last a long time. No, not forever, and they would be exy at first. Of course, you can only use them inside a restaurant, but the focus is on reduction.
Even when they do break down, you can then send them to your compost pile. Using them this way makes their use both green and eco-friendly.
And their creation won't require the destruction of an entire tree. Instead, a branch or two at a time can be taken. The main concern here comes from cleaning them after each use.
They would need to be sealed with a vegetable-based, food-safe resin. And such a resin would need to withstand the chemicals and heat of a dishwasher.
Benefits of Wheat
After wheat is harvested in the fall, the stalks dry as a nun's nasty and then burned. Not only is this annoying for all, but it wastes useful product.
Plus, we all know cockies are having trouble staying afloat. Why not give them an extra product to sell? You might even see the prices on flour fall as cockies race to make more wheat to use for straws.
Now, this may not create the supply to do away with all plastic straws. But it might work to cut the demand by a large percentage.
Of course, wheat straws require more land put to use for crops. And they would be single use, but they are easy to compost and would break down fast.
Make a Difference
You don't have to wait for these straws to come available to make a personal change. You might look into getting your own reusable straw or ones for your family.
Or you can make no straws your plastic straw alternatives. How often do you have to have a straw anyway? And don't just go without, ask restaurants not to give you a straw.
You can make a small difference now by not adding to the waste. For more drum, get in touch with us here.