Compostable straws are available in a wide variety of options, instigating a tough choice for consumers when selecting from two common types as they decide whether paper or plant-based straws are best. Indeed, both help to protect the beauty of our lush landscape, but which one may offer more benefits? As the two straws share exceedingly similar characteristics it may seem impossible to make a decision!
So, are compostable straws better as paper or plant-based types? Let’s jump into this deep sea of information together and learn the details about these specialized and biodegradable products. Will we reach a conclusion or a definitive answer? Read on to have all your questions answered.
>> Read More: How are compostable straws made?
What Are Compostable Straws Made Of?
What are compostable straws made of? The primary composition of these environmentally friendly straws is created from natural-based materials. The majority of compostable straws originate from naturally-occurring plants such as; corn, bamboo, wheat, coconut, rice, coffee grounds, grass, sugarcane, and more! Alternatively, paper can replace these plant materials and also be used to produce compostable straws.
Are Compostable Straws Better For The Environment?
Are compostable straws truly better for natural life? Our answer is yes! This kind of eco-friendly product is becoming a widespread alternative to plastic straws with consumers across the globe. Familiarize yourself with all of the unbelievable benefits that biodegradable straws bring not only to our lives but the environment we live in.
No More Threat Of Harmful Waste To The Ocean
Approximately 8 million tons of toxic waste are released into the ocean every year – with up to 89% of this number being plastic trash. The reason is that most manufactured plastic products are made for single-use purposes. Without biodegradability, plastics can forever remain and continue to pollute ocean life. Furthermore, unbeknownst to unwitting sea animals, plastics can not be digested. This leads to the accidental consumption of these plastic materials and causes multiple health issues for these creatures.
As more and more people are making the shift and using compostable drinking straws, we will continue to reduce the possibility of harmful waste being released. Although compostable products do not directly take out the plastic trash that has already been released into the ocean, they will in fact reduce what could instead be a much larger number.
Will compostable straws break down naturally? Yes, of course! These natural straws will decompose rapidly, leaving behind no polluted substances. Even better? Some compostable straws are edible and safe for both human and animal consumption!
Microplastics can be explained as minuscule little bits of plastic waste, so tiny that they are almost invisible to the human eye. These particles are found to be contained all around us, present in water, air, and tiny crevices of our previously pristine natural environment – though not without doing some harm too! Microplastics may be absorbed via our food and drinks or breathing through our airways, creating a high risk for several illnesses. As they require hundreds of years to decompose, the challenge we now face is the ability to eliminate microplastics entirely.
Contrastingly, compostable straws will disappear back into the earth within a few weeks or months! As we reduce the risk of waste entering the air and sea, natural substances will guide us along the way without negatively impacting our health.
Releasing No Toxins To The Environment
It seems to be general knowledge that plastics take hundreds of years to decompose. As they attempt to biodegrade, they leak out chemicals and harmful toxic substances to the surrounding natural life. The most lethal chemical found in plastics is bisphenol A, also known as BPA. This poisonous substance can dangerously interfere with animal hormones, while also affecting its growth.
Not only this, but plastics can also release other serious chemicals that can affect the atmosphere – dioxins and vinyl chloride. These two substances enter through our airways as we breathe and can damage our health and well-being directly. They can even harm the ecosystem of landfills, rivers, and the soil beneath our feet!
Luckily, with organic materials, plant-based compostable straws can protect and preserve rather than harm and hurt our environment. These sustainable straws contain no toxic substances, and once they have decomposed naturally, can even enrich the soil to support more room and life for growing trees and plants.
Are Paper Straws Or Plant-based Straws The Best Compostable Straws?
Are paper straws compostable? Similarly to plant-based options, they will decompose naturally. Both types of compostable straw are suited to the environment, but the question is… which one comes out on top as people’s choice?
Paper straws can be made of either recycled paper or thin sheets of wood. As a material, paper comparatively won’t take long periods of time to decompose as plastics do. However, you may encounter some disadvantages when investigating behind the scenes of these paper straws.
In terms of durability, paper straws can only last a short time when immersed in liquids. You may observe the straw quickly becoming soggy, especially when in hot water, losing shape and firmness within an hour. Paper straws are unfortunately not suited for leisurely, slow-drinking beverages if you are in the mood for taking your time and enjoying every sip!
Moreover, some paper straws might require glue to hold their shape, forming the final product. As it makes contact with water or other liquids, this glue can melt down, changing the taste of your drink and potentially an unpleasant odor alongside this!
Paper straws unfortunately require massive amounts of both energy and resources in their manufacturing process, sometimes more than traditional plastic straws require. They may contain wax and film coating that drags out its degrading time, taking longer to return safely to the ground.
Plant-based straws demonstrate more advantages over their paper straw counterparts. These products are made of 100% natural materials, including corn starch, bamboo, coconut, coffee ground, rice, sugarcane, and even dried grass! The plant-based straws are composed of a texture that acts firm enough to withstand drinks without getting soggy or losing shape. These biodegradable compostable straws can retain their functional and aesthetically pleasing shape in both hot and cold drinks.
As an added plus, biodegradable not-paper straws provide users with more options for the disposal after use. You can throw these organic straws away into the soil, garden, or compost bin, waiting only weeks or months for these items to quickly decompose. Surprisingly so, you can also find several plant-based straws that are safe to eat! Take full advantage of this unique feature and enjoy the straw as a crunchy snack or a boiled rice-based dish – expanding the benefits they can give to humans, animals, and habitats alike.
Every battle can end only when a winner has been decided- do paper or plant-based straws take the title of best compostable straw?
In this case, it depends! Both of these compostable straws have been designed to serve their function of protecting our environment and keeping it green. Considering all factors, there is one option that comes out on top.
Between these two types, the best compostable straws should be named as plant-based! Plant materials supersede paper in most aspects: durability, flexibility, and functionality! Plant-based straws can last longer, withstand hot and cold drinks, and may even be edible.
EQUO is a reliable manufacturer of compostable plasticless straws, pushing the way to the everyday use of alternatives to plastic products. You can visit the online shop to buy our compostable straws bulk and eco-friendly products here! Made from the Earth, and made for the Earth – shop at EQUO now!
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