Summer's almost over, folks. June may be the month the most ice cream is produced, but October is all about sipping hot coffee concoctions and spooky Halloween punch.
You've probably heard about the commotion surrounding the use of plastic straws, right? They're used so frequently in restaurants, events, and fast food that literally tons of them end up in the ocean every year. Plastic takes forever to break down into small particles, and it never really biodegrades, so it's understandable that people are calling for change. Metal and glass straws have come about for practical, personal use -- but what about parties and big events?
Enter the mighty, eco-friendly paper straws! Yes, paper straws are a thing. More people are realizing that paper straws are a viable alternative to plastic.
A lot of big corporations fazing out plastic straws have complained that paper straws are just 'too expensive'. That's all perspective. Paper straws are still incredibly cheap, a half-cent per straw on the low end and around two cents per straw on the expensive end, let's say. They're just not as ridiculously cheap as traditional plastic straws that can cost as little as a fifth of a cent each.
Why are paper straws more expensive? They have more care put into them. Paper straws often come in a variety of colors and patterns (think polka dots, puppies, or festive foil), and many companies go the extra mile to make theirs recyclable or use recycled materials. Until that process becomes more widespread and affordable, many more companies are simply creating paper drinking straws that stand up to liquids and ARE much more biodegradable than plastic. As a plant-based product, paper breaks down into the environment very quickly.
On top of environmental friendliness, paper straws are also a great plastic alternative for those who can't sip from a regular cup or who risk injury from using harder straws like glass and metal. This could include the elderly and motor-impaired. In fact, a lot of big corporations have gotten flack from disabled communities for taking away the plastic straw option entirely. Soft straws make something as simple as independently enjoying a drink possible for those who physically have trouble.