The Plastic Straw - Humble but Harmful!
How can one innocent inconspicuous plastic stick do so much lasting damage? Because it has the shortest lifespan but remains on earth forever.
We use the plastic straw for a few minutes and then discard it without even a second thought for where it will end up. It is an unnecessary toxic and permanent flotsam in our oceans and there are many compelling reasons to reduce its usage.
Plastic straws made from polypropylene a petroleum based plastic known for its cheap and easy to produce nature do not biodegrade ever. Polypropylene has a high melting point making it suitable for its use with hot food and resists acids and bases. This plastic is characterized by its long carbon chain, that reacts with oxygen and UV rays. The plastic breaks down and leaches toxins and microplastics into the soil and ocean.
Every piece of plastic straw is a permanent toxic waste in our environment
- The very nature of its chemical composition makes it impossible to biodegrade. At most, it might photodegrade into tiny pieces which are then very easily ingested by marine animals and to us through the food chain.
- If recycled, only a small percentage goes through the process and only once, after which it lands in the landfill and the ocean.
- If incinerated, it releases toxic dioxins into the air which settles into our crops and through the food chain bioaccumulate into humans and animals.
A Suitable Alternative – eco-friendly biodegradable straws
The straw should be an easy thing to forfeit contraption yet we are so used to it we automatically reach for it. And of course there are times when the straw is quite necessary:
- Ease of drinking for young children;
- Facilitating drinking if you broke your jaws or for patients with neurological conditions who need assistance in drinking.
Bioplastics are plastics that are biomass based not petroleum based. Biomass such as cornstarch and bio oils creates a biodegradable product that can have the same thermal and physical properties as polypropylene. The main difference between bioplastics and regular plastic is the end of its life. While petroleum based straws do “disappear” they do so over hundreds of years. And over those hundreds of years they break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic. These microplastics find their way into the food chain with fish digesting and absorbing the plastic chemicals that are results of these straws. With bioplastics this outcome can be avoided. With faster breakdown times in controlled decomposition, bio plastics can be discarded alongside food waste to be biodegraded in months. Helping to avoid the great pacific garbage patch, and leave the fish healthier and the planet happier.
An even better alternative to bioplastics are uncoated paper straws. They use no petroleum to make and decompose even faster than bioplastic straws. Along with the rate at which they decompose, they do not affect the organic nature of the compost. While the bioplastics can decompose into soil under controlled conditions, the paper straws freely decompose into nature. If a straw accidentally makes its way out of the cycle of disposal and slips off into your neighbourhood park, you can rest easy knowing it will only be there a few weeks before it melts away.
Cornware UK 100% biodegradable/compostable paper straws made from FSC certified paper, can be disposed off as recycled paper or as food waste.
Save the planet one sip and one bite at a time
Switch to biodegradable food packaging!
CORNWARE UK LTD
Contact Cornware here:
020 3633 0535