Single-use plastic straws are a source of chronic litter and contamination of the beaches and waterways. The average plastic straw is estimated to be used for only 15 minutes before being discarded and takes approximately 200 years to decompose. It is amongst the top 10 items that are collected annually during the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup event. During the one day event in 2016, volunteers collected almost half a million plastic straws from Miami-Dade County alone.
What are some alternatives to plastic straws?
- Strawless – Most of the time, straws aren’t necessary. It’s just a matter of breaking a habit. Afterall, it’s one less thing for you and the environment to think about.
- Paper – This straw material is typically made of 100% paper and highly biodegradable.
- Bagasse – Bagasse straws are lightweight, made of sugarcane stalks, and fully biodegradable – now that’s sweet!
- Bamboo – Straws made out of all-natural bamboo are a lightweight and great reusable alternative. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource. Be sure to choose sustainably sourced bamboo.
- Metal Straws – Metal straws can be made of aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. They are durable and great alternative to single-use plastic straws since they are reusable.Many of these straws are made from high-quality metals and have brushes available for easy cleaning.