4 alternatives éco-responsables aux pailles en plastique.

4 eco-responsible alternatives to plastic straws.

Plastic straws have come under increased public scrutiny in recent times, due to their perceived connection to the enormous amount of plastic and other waste, floating like huge patches of trash in all our main oceans.

While plastic straws can, in theory, be recycled, many of them are not properly disposed of and end up in nature, where they can cause a lot of damage, over a long period of time.

Here we present to you 4 ecological straws as good, or even better, than plastic.

Bamboo straws

Bamboo is an almost perfect material for making eco-friendly straws. Bamboo has many beneficial properties. Bamboo is a durable, waterproof material and the straws can be used and reused many times.

Additionally, bamboo has great antibacterial properties and it does not stain or discolor very easily from food products. Therefore, a set of bamboo straws is perfect to purchase and keep at home for those occasions when you need a straw.

Paper straws

Paper has quickly become an alternative material to meet the demand for disposable and eco-friendly straws.

Paper has several advantages over plastic in that it is biodegradable. Left to its own devices, a paper straw will decompose in salt water within 6 months.

If properly composted, paper straws decompose in just two months.

Paper straws cannot be recycled into paper, however, because paper recyclers generally do not accept food scraps.

Also, it is probably a bit optimistic to believe that they will be composted on a large scale. Likely, a lot of paper straws will end up in landfills.

Metal straws

It is questionable whether metal is really a good material for eco-friendly straws.

Manufacturing them uses huge amounts of energy, compared to disposable plastic or paper straws, so a metal straw will need to be used thousands of times before it's the eco-friendly straw you really want.

That said, a metal straw, made of stainless steel, is very durable and will last for generations if handled properly.

You could easily buy a metal straw today and have your grandchildren using it a hundred years from now, as long as you wash it well and don't lose it.

Glass straws

Glass is a good material for reusable eco-friendly straws, but just like metal straws, you'll really have to use them for it to be a win, compared to paper or plastic straws, due to the large amount of energy used during glass manufacturing.

Modern glass straws, made from Pyrex or similar glass, are very durable and can withstand an incredible amount of abuse without breaking.

Plus, it's easy to see if they've been properly cleaned, which is an advantage over metal.

How do plastic straws affect the earth?

In theory, plastic is the perfect material for eco-friendly straws.

However, this requires that they are properly disposed of and recycled, to a large extent, so that they do not end up in nature.

Plastic straws left in landfills or nature will decompose from exposure to sunlight, but they will not completely decompose.

Instead, they end up as micro-plastics, i.e. microscopic plastic particles, which spread everywhere, causing serious damage.

Are ecological alternatives as good?

Are eco-friendly straws made from alternative materials any good?

It depends on what you mean by that.

Paper straws, for example, are less harmful to the environment if left in nature, but they are three times more expensive and not really waterproof and will disintegrate more easily with use.

Eco-friendly straws made from bamboo, metal or glass are even more expensive, but very durable and can be reused hundreds or thousands of times if properly cleaned.

Where to buy ecological straws?

You can easily purchase eco-friendly straws from a growing number of online and brick-and-mortar stores selling kitchen equipment.

Eco-friendly straws have finally moved from obscure niche products to the mainstream, and are available just about everywhere.

Our final thoughts

Plastic straws and other plastic items ending up in nature are a growing problem, causing great concern around the world.

In our opinion, this is the main driver behind the search for alternatives to plastic straws.

The manufacture of plastic straws in itself does not cause much harm to the environment and the fact that the polypropylene, from which the straws are made, is 100% recyclable would make it a perfectly ecological product if it were not for not the problems of micro-plastics in nature.

Today there are many good eco-friendly straws made from materials other than plastic.

Even if you never throw plastic straws into the wild, you should consider switching to an alternative.

Plastic waste in nature is a global problem and only by supporting alternatives can we help it drop in price and spread to all parts of the world.

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