Pure 100% paper straws are better for the environment because they will break down in your compost in 2-6 weeks, they are affordable and will not pollute oceans in the same way that plastic does. Paper straws break down quickly and are an affordable option.
Do paper straws actually help the environment?
Paper straws help the environment as they are an alternative to plastic straws. Plastic straws are causing lots of environmental damage, ending up in our oceans, swallowed by ocean creatures like turtles and birds.
Plastic straws can take over 200 years to break down and add to the ever-growing plastic pollution on our planet. Paper straws are a simple alternative, they are cheap and easy to find in supermarkets.
Are all paper straws recyclable?
Recycling paper straws is not as simple as you might think. Some paper straws will have a plastic lining which means they cannot be recycled with other cardboard products. Paper straws can also be contaminated with food, and some recycling facilities will not accept them if this is the case. Here are some things to check before recycling your paper straws.
- Check the packaging to see if they have a plastic coating, if they do they will have to be thrown out in the regular garbage. If not they can be composted at home.
- Check whether or not your local recycling facility accepts contaminated cardboard. Some do, so adding the straws to your recycling bin will be ok.
- Check to see if the straw is 100% paper – this is an easy way to see if it can be composted
Top reasons why 100% paper straws are better
- 100% Paper straws are biodegradable and compostable
- They won’t be swallowed by ocean creatures like turtles
- They don’t add to the growing plastic waste problem
- They decompose quicker than plastic straws – they will break down in 2-6 weeks compared to 200 years for a plastic straw
- They don’t release toxic chemicals like BPA
- They are affordable
- Paper straws look great – they can be colorful and match your party theme
Paper straws look great and come in a range of amazing colors. If you are planning a kids birthday party, they can be a great alternative to plastic and will look great on a party table.
What else can I use instead of paper or plastic straws?
Bamboo straws are made from natural bamboo, which is a sustainable product that grows quickly with minimal chemicals and is biodegradable. They can be used over and over again if you clean them properly with a thin brush and warm soapy water. Make sure you let them dry completely before packing them away.
Stainless steel straws
These are my favorite and are long lasting are delicious to drink through and are recyclable. They are great for drinking very cold drinks like iced coffee or milkshakes. Remember to clean them thoroughly straight after using them and let them drain.
The simplest alternative to plastic or even paper straws that doesn’t create any waste is not to use any straw at all. Although kids often love drinking through straws, it is a great idea to keep this as a treat. That way we can teach them how important it is to consider the waste we make and the impact on the environment.
What else can you use a paper straw for?
Check out some great alternative uses for paper straws below.
How to recycle paper straws
100% biodegradable paper straws can be placed straight into your compost bin. Mix them in with green and brown material and they will break down in a few weeks. Paper straws are considered a brown material so will add extra carbon to your mix.
If you are lucky enough to have a recycling bin provided to you by your local municipality you may be able to recycle them in this way. You will need to check to see if your recycling facility accepts contaminated carboard products and that your straws are 100% paper.
Bury them in your garden
If you don’t have a compost bin at home, 100% paper straws can be buried in the ground. They will break down over a few weeks by the bacteria and fungi in the soil. Water them in to speed up the breakdown process.
Why 100% Paper Straws are Better – Summary
Paper straws are better than plastic because they break down quicker and can even be placed in your compost bin. Avoid the damage that plastic can cause to ocean creatures by swapping to paper straws.
For more on straws, check out my previous article, do stainless steel straws taste like metal?