Around the world, people have wrestled with the environmental effect of plastics, which do not naturally degrade and are frequently used once before settling in landfills, clogging storm drains or collecting in the ocean, often for long periods of time. Many countries have banned, limited or taxed the use of plastic bags. Now they’re banning single use plastic straws. That’s resulted in a surge in demand for paper straws.
The latest is US cities who have taken an eco-friendly initiative to ban plastic straws the latest is Malibu, Calif. Before that came Seattle; Davis and San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and Miami Beach and Fort Myers, Fla. They’re all cities that have banned or limited the use of plastic straws in restaurants. That means demand for paper straws have soared recently. Straws, routinely placed in glasses of water or soda, represent a small percentage of the plastic that’s produced and consumed but often end up on beaches and in oceans. Paper straws wont over stay their welcome tho – as they disintegrate within 90 days.
Advocates said laws aimed at cutting back on the use of plastic straws, or even offering paper straws can help spur more significant behavioral changes. For example, on-demand offering of plastic straws is now in the conversation across California cities. Measures are being considered in other coastal cities, including Berkeley, Calif. A bevy of restaurants across the country have also voluntarily stopped providing straws. “I think a lot of people feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the plastic problem,” said Diana Lofflin, the founder of StrawFree.org, an activist organization based in San Diego. Also based in San Diego, is OKSTRAW – to learn more about us, click here. “Giving up plastic straws is a small step, and an easy thing for people to get started on. From there, we can move on to larger projects.” A way to side step this, is to offer paper straws as an alternative.