As a business owner who cares about the environment, you probably already try to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. When choosing disposable products for your business, it can be a tough call- do you want plastic that ends up in a landfill, or do you want to use a paper product made from one of Earth’s most valuable resources? When you dig into the ecological science behind the paper vs. plastic issue, it’s clear that paper products come out on top.
Effect On Landfills
Since plastic straws are small compared to most other trash, it’s easy to think that they don’t have a huge impact on the amount of trash we produce, but nothing could be further from the truth. A single plastic straw can take up to 500 years to fully decompose. Americans use up to 500 million plastic drinking straws every single day. That’s 1.2 straws per day, per United States citizen. It doesn’t take a mathematician to understand that straws result in an incredible amount of trash in our landfills. Paper straws, by comparison, start to break down within a few hours of use. Today’s paper straws are sturdy enough to be used for 2-3 hours, but after that, their decomposition process naturally begins. Since paper straws are made completely of biodegradable materials, they are compostable. This means that when they are returned to the ground, they may even be able to benefit surrounding plants.
Keeping Animals Safe
Plastic straws are one of the most common pieces of plastic picked up during beach cleanup projects. Many people have heard of the giant mass of trash currently floating in the Pacific Ocean- it’s as big as Texas, and it’s not getting any smaller. Plastic has become so common in the ocean that large quantities of it are often found in the bellies of seabirds, as well as in the bellies of fish sold to consumers at supermarkets. When an animal eats plastic, their body is not able to digest the material. If the plastic isn’t small enough to pass through their digestive system, it remains in their belly for their entire lifetime. Paper straws are a different story. Paper is easily broken down by the acids in an animal’s digestive system. In the unlikely event that a paper straw makes it into an animal’s habitat, it is very unlikely to harm their health.
You know that transitioning to paper straws is the right thing to do for your business. Some cities are even outlawing plastic straws, issuing heavy fines to any businesses found to still be using the little environmental troublemakers. If you haven’t made the switch yet, it’s time. At FarFromBoring Hospitality, our paper straws hold up while being used, break down after use, and are convenient for you and your customers. Make the change!