Busting Myths About Paper Straws - Dispelling the Common Myths that Prevent People from Switching
When’s the last time you used a plastic straw?
For most of us, it wasn’t that long ago. Single-use plastics can be convenient – but there’s an environmental cost for this convenience. If these plastics aren’t disposed of properly, they stick around in the environment for hundreds of years, and in that time, countless animals can be harmed. Marine animals often mistake plastic and other garbage as food, and according to World Wildlife Magazine, it is estimated that plastic has been found in 90% of all sea turtle and seabird species. According to the Government of Canada, 57 million plastic straws are used daily. That is a lot of plastic from straws alone.
Luckily, reducing the use of plastic straws has quite a simple solution: switch to paper straws. Paper straws have been on the rise these past few years and are the perfect plastic alternative. However, as paper straws have gained in popularity, so has the popularity of myths about them!
Myth #1: Paper straws get soggy
One of the most popular myths about paper straws is that they get soggy really quickly. This belief isn't completely false – yes, paper straws can get soggy (that’s also what makes them less harmful if released into the environment)!
What is important to note is how quickly a paper straw gets soggy is dependent on the quality of its inputs: The paper, glue, and how it’s assembled. If the materials are not the highest quality, and/or the paper straws are not manufactured properly, then the paper straws will get soggy fast.
Blowholes paper straws are made with high quality paper, food-grade glue, and strict manufacturing standards, ensuring that they don't get soggy easily. The paper used in Blowholes straws are tough, durable, and made to last for hours in beverages of all types. Millions of Canadians have found this to be more than enough time to finish their drinks. (If you take longer than a couple of hours to finish a beverage, then our straws may not be right for you).
Myth #2: PLA (Polylactic acid) straws are biodegradable, just like paper straws
PLA straws are “compostable” straws made from plants that many people believe can break down in the environment. What people usually do not realize is that they do not break down in the environment but require specific disposal conditions. Research shows that PLA straws need industrial composting conditions to be composted properly. Not only are these conditions not accessible to consumers and businesses, but they do not occur naturally in the environment. For PLA straws to compost, they require temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius for 10 days or need to be properly sent to specialized industrial composting and recycling facilities to break down properly. Left alone in a landfill or out in the environment, they will behave very much like plastic straws – only more expensive!
In contrast to this, paper straws are fully biodegradable and compostable. Paper is made from wood fibre and will break down just like all plants. By ensuring that paper straws can decompose, these eco-friendly straws will reduce their environmental impact compared to plastic straws – and PLA straws.
Myth #3: Paper straws aren’t long lasting
Another popular myth is that paper straws aren’t long lasting. This belief also has merit to it – as paper straws can be very short lived. How long they last depends on the quality of the paper straws. Paper straws are designed to not last forever. However, if the materials are high quality and they are manufactured properly, they will last longer than most think.
Blowholes paper straws have been tested to avoid unravelling in alcoholic beverages, milk, acidic drinks, hot drinks, etc. As long as one doesn’t chew the straw, the straws will last for several hours. FDA approved waterproof glue, such as the type used in Blowholes paper straws, is the best option for a long-lasting straw, as it will not dissolve easily in liquids. (Other paper straws we tested unraveled quickly in acidic or alcoholic beverages, meaning the glue dissolved into the drink… gross!)
Start Making a Difference with a Simple Switch
Paper straws may seem weak in comparison to plastic straws, but there’s a balancing point where you can get a quality straw that minimizes its environmental impact. Starting to be more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as taking the first step by switching to more eco-friendly straws.
Switching to paper straws isn’t going to single-handedly rid our oceans of plastic garbage, but it will be one less piece of plastic that could get eaten by an animal, and one less piece of plastic that could float around in our oceans for hundreds of years. When deciding which paper straws to buy, look into the materials and its specifics before buying. This way you can ensure you get a straw that will be the best alternative to plastic disposable straws.
Don’t know what brand will provide you with the best paper straw? Blowholes is a great place to start. Our straws are available in quantities for both individuals and businesses, and are made with high quality paper.
Make the switch today and help make a difference.
- Blowholes Staff