The Waste Place
useful waste solutions

The Waste Place
useful waste solutions

Single Use Straws - Just A Small Issue

Single Use Straws – Just A Small Issue

Are single use straws just a small issue? I mean many of us like to sit in the local pub garden come summer with a refreshing drink, or simply that trip to a grab a burger and drink. How often do we think about where that straw ends up and what damage that straw can do?

Straws are a perfect example of a product we have made for use in everyday life without a concern of what happens next, or even looking at the alternatives. The average single use straw is used for around 20 minutes before it’s discarded, however that straw will far outlive it’s user. Amazing to think that an item you use for less time than it takes to cook tea will still be around when your grandchildren are growing up.

In the UK we use 8.5 billion straws every year, and when you consider how long these will be around it becomes quite a shocking statistic. For the straws that end up in our oceans the even more shocking fact is that it becomes part of the mass of plastic that ends up contaminating our seas. Marine life that ingests the plastic has a 50% mortality rate. That 20 minutes of use is starting to have a larger impact than many of us realise.

At The Waste Place we believe that it’s not about condemning how we have done things, but finding new and improved solutions. As with all waste management we can look at the past and see our mistakes but it’s far more productive to look to the future and see what we can do now to change the situation.

With large organisations such as JD Wetherspoons and All Bar One supporting campaigns and in January 2018 making the move to paper straws this leads the way for other companies to follow.  Straw Wars is a great example of a UK based campaign to show the value to businesses to change their straws. Sadly some ‘biodegradable’ straws do not actually break down when they're cold, however with a bit of research you’ll find a range of solutions from paper straws that do breakdown, to stainless or glass straws that you can use over and over again.

It’s by being aware and conscious of what we are using that will shape our future and if one person asks not to have a single use straw and requests a paper straw you never know, you might just be the one that is the final straw for that retailer to make the change.

Ben: 27th Feb 2018 13:00:00

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