Easy Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint #5: Straws
Plastic straws have been in the headlines a lot recently following several big companies announcing plans to ditch the single-use item that is quickly becoming public enemy number one.
The latest of these announcements comes from Starbucks who plan to eliminate straws from their stores by 2020. In their place, the company will be introducing strawless lids, which have a sippable protrusion. Controversially, these lids will still be made of plastic and use slightly more plastic than the current straw/lid solution! Starbucks' counter argument is that the new lids will be made of recyclable plastic, unlike straws. That may be, but we must not forget the average plastic recycling figure is just 9%!
In actual fact, Starbucks (and before them McDonalds) are quite late to the party, with other high street stalwarts like Pret A Manger, Costa Coffee, Wagamama, Pizza Express and JD Wetherspoon already announcing moves to ban or phase out plastic straws earlier this year. There’s even a dedicated paper straw factory opening in Wales later this year.
According to Reuters, approximately 8.5 billion plastic straws get thrown away in the UK every year and are certainly contributing to the death of marine animals. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Back in April Theresa May announced plans to ban plastic straws, cotton buds and drinks stirrers in England as part of the government’s initiative to crack down on single-use plastic. The Prime Minister described plastic waste as “one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world,” and urged other members of the Commonwealth to join the UK in the fight against plastic.
However, as we all know, the implementation of these reductions is years away. We need to take matters into our own hands and act now. Thankfully, there are plenty of reusable alternatives to choose from. You can rock a different look each day! Kids love them.
Bamboo straws are made from naturally antibacterial materials and are very durable. We stock a variety of lengths in a cotton bag with a stainless steel brush for deeper cleaning.
Glass has an honest soul. It will not hang on to last week´s coffee or juice but will stay completely neutral in taste. We stock both straight and bent glass straws from Soulbottles which are carbon neutral and 100% pollutant free. Loving made in Germany for sustainable and sophisticated slurping!
Paper straws can usually be found in supermarkets or party stores and are relatively low cost. Norfolk-based Fancy Straws stock over 50 different colours, designs and patterns. However, these can normally only be used once.
Stainless Steel Straws
Made from high quality, food-grade stainless steel, these reusable straws from Klean Kanteen have a removable silicone tip and come with a natural palm fibre brush to make them easy to clean (or they are dishwasher safe). Available in black or multi coloured.