With the current trend towards “going green” and being more environmentally friendly, a lot of companies are trying to ditch plastic where they can.
One area that sees a lot of plastic waste is disposable plastic straws for drinks in the restaurant industry.
While some restaurants have stuck with their plastics, and others have nixed straws entirely from their menus, paper straws may actually be the most practical solution for the moment.
If you’ve been wondering about making the shift from plastic to paper for your own business, read on to learn about several great benefits of paper drinking straws for your restaurant.
1. Plastic Straws are Bad for the Ocean
When plastic straws are left behind by forgetful (or malicious) beachgoers, left on boats or cruise ships, or in overstuffed trashcans, where do you think they end up?
The unfortunate reality is that they end up in the ocean. They’re so small and lightweight that the wind carries them away, right into the water.
Even if they end up in gutters or storm drains, they all have the same unfortunate end. The ocean is their resting place.
Once in the ocean, they break down into microplastics. Those microplastics disperse into the ecosystem and get into the bodies of the undersea animals. They’re incredibly harmful and pose a serious threat to the future of aquatic life worldwide.
2. Paper Drinking Straws Are Recyclable
While many plastics are recyclable, plastic straws are often too small and lightweight for the machines to trap them.
They drop through the holes in the machines and get sifted out with the rest of the garbage, making their ways to landfills and bodies of water worldwide.
Paper, however, can be crumpled up and be thrown in easily with the rest of the paper and cardboard recycling. Because of the nature of paper, it’s less likely to disappear through any cracks. If it did though, it wouldn’t matter. Paper won’t stay on the earth forever like plastic will.
3. Paper Straws Can Be Stylish
Paper straws come in a variety of colors and styles, making them a trendy drinking utensil. They’re easily customizable with dyes, and the materials and dyes are FDA approved to be safe for use with foods and beverages.
Those cute straws you see on food blogs with the fancy stripes stuck in milkshakes? Those are generally paper straws.
Fun colors aren’t only for plastic.
4. They’re Biodegradable and Compostable
While paper products are all recyclable, it is a possibility that your paper straw will meet the same fate as the plastic one: getting lost amongst the garbage.
If that happens? No worries.
These straws won’t stay in the ground or ocean forever, releasing microplastics and contributing to pollution until the end of time. Rather, paper is biodegradable. It will disappear into nothing. These straws can disintegrate right into the dirt without a worry for the environment.
Now, this doesn’t mean we should just go throwing them onto the ground without paying attention, but it does mean that you can rest easy knowing that you aren’t contributing to the microplastic problem in the oceans.
5. People Still Enjoy Using Straws
So, maybe your solution is just to go strawless entirely. This is great for the environment and will help overall.
That said, people really like their straws. They’re attached to them. People would sometimes rather bring a straw along with them than not use one at all.
Sometimes, though, people forget that some people with disabilities need straws. To ensure accessibility while also being more environmentally friendly, it would be best to offer single-use paper straws to all customers.
This way, no one has to ask, perhaps making themselves uncomfortable if they’re someone that needs a straw for reasons of disability (or even just because they want one) and you’re still helping protect the world from plastics.
6. Made From Renewable Resources
Most single-use plastics aren’t bioplastics. Bioplastics are plastics made from renewable resources, making them not ideal, but not terrible for the environment.
Other single-use plastics are often made from petroleum or natural gas. This might not seem like a problem now, but once these resources are used up (and for plastic straws, no less), they’re gone.
Paper drinking straws, however, don’t have this problem. Paper is made from renewable resources, naturally. As it’s also recyclable, the straws could potentially become future straws.
7. It’s a Good Look For Your Company
As going-green is trending, more and more companies are joining the wave. Starbucks, Disney, and plenty of other major companies are cutting down on their single-use plastic straws. They’re getting a lot of attention for it.
On the other hand, it can be a bad look to continue passing out plastic straws to every customer, regardless of whether or not they ask for one.
Even if your area hasn’t completely banned plastic straws, like some cities have, you can lead the trend and look great doing it.
Keeping up appearances shouldn’t be the only reason, but it will be good for your brand and your customers will remember.
So, Paper or Plastic?
Paper drinking straws are great for the environment and a perfect single-use alternative for plastic straws. Alternatives don’t have to be super expensive, and making the switch now will make you ahead of the curve in the trend towards working and living green.
Your business can and will benefit from ditching single-use plastics. They’re unnecessary for most people and they’re actively harmful to the environment. Rather than contribute to the microplastic problem in the ocean, wouldn’t you rather be part of the solution?
To learn more about our mission, or purchase some of our straws wholesale, check out our site. Consider making the switch for your business today.