Single-use plastic has become a bone of contention for activists around the world, forcing companies to find eco-friendly alternatives. One of the most common steps that companies are taking is the move from plastic straws to paper straws. In fact, the discussion about plastic straws has escalated in many regions, with Seattle becoming the largest city in the United States to “out and out” ban the use of plastic straws back in July 2018. There are many reasons the move from plastic to paper straws makes sense from both an environmental and business-savvy standpoint.
Big Business Looking for Solutions
Major companies including Starbucks and McDonald's are seeking ways to eliminate plastic drinking straws. There are an estimated 700 million straws used in North America every day. When looking in global terms, it is estimated upwards of 8.3 billion plastic straws are contributing to the pollution of beaches around the world. These numbers make it obvious something must be done to reduce the damage straws are causing the planet. Paper straws are leading the charge.
Plastic and the Ocean
With the increase in single-use plastics like straws, oceans and landfills are piling up with excess, unnecessary waste. Plastic is so prevalent that it creates “garbage patches” in the ocean when ocean currents push the debris together. These gyres are a natural occurrence that clashes with the unnatural appearance of plastics. The result is masses of microplastics that settle on the ocean floor and also create a gelatinous, cloudy mass in the water. In fact, these masses are so large, that the most famous is twice the size of Texas. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or the Pacific Trash Vortex, just 1 percent of the plastic waste is seen on the surface. The rest has become part of the deep-sea sediments on the ocean floor.
Now, let's get to the heart of the matter. How do paper straws help the environment? Paper straws actually have many benefits:
Biodegradability: Unlike plastic straws, paper straws are biodegradable. They break down naturally, reducing harm to the environment.
Quick Decomposition: Paper straws decompose in about two to six weeks, whereas plastic straws can take up to 200 years. This rapid breakdown is a significant environmental advantage.
Reduced Plastic Usage: Switching to paper straws automatically reduces the number of plastic straws used, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint.
Affordability: Businesses will find that paper straws are quite affordable when purchased in bulk, making the transition cost-effective.
Wildlife Friendly: Paper straws aren't harmful to wildlife as they won't contribute to the microplastics created by plastic straws, helping protect marine life.
Paper straws also offer opportunities for companies to start making an alternative to plastic. Sales are skyrocketing, and new paper straw startups are popping up everywhere to help meet demand. As this trend rises, plastic companies are being forced to rethink their products, whether it is to end production or come up with their own versions of plastic straw alternatives.
Although straw activists feel no straws are the best choice, right now, that isn't likely to happen. Knowing this is the case, they agree that paper straws offer the best alternative if you've got to use a straw. Although they too are single-use, they will decompose in months and won't be found washed up on our beaches or become part of the garbage patch. If you are looking for a paper straw business, Wonderful cup is a great choice for you, with years of paper straw manufacturing experience, you can surely find what you want here.
The transition from plastic to paper straws is not only an environmental necessity but also a smart business move. The devastating impact of plastic straws on our oceans and landfills is undeniable. Paper straws, with their biodegradability, quick decomposition, and minimal harm to wildlife, provide a viable solution to this global problem. As major companies and new startups embrace this shift, the paper straw industry is booming, leaving plastic straw alternatives in its wake.
If your business is looking to make the transition to eco-friendly paper straws, Wonderful Cups provides paper straw adhesives to ensure that the move away from plastic alternatives is a swift one. Contact Wonderful Cups for all of your adhesive needs and join the movement toward a cleaner, more sustainable future. Together, we can make a difference, one paper straw at a time.