This topic has been coming up about biodegradability and we want to offer some information on it.
It is important for all of us to understand what we are being sold.
What are Biodegradable Straws?
Firstly, though, let’s clarify what we mean by biodegradable. In an increasingly eco-conscious world, it’s a term we hear a lot. However, with more and more products carrying that label, it’s important that we know what we are talking about.
When materials biodegrade, they break down into ever smaller pieces once they’ve been thrown away. All materials do this, even plastics, which break down into what we call microplastics – i.e. plastic particles smaller than 5mm. As such, it’s not a very precise term. However, we call biodegradable those products that decompose into organic material with the help of bacteria – and without leaving toxins behind.
Biodegradable alternatives to plastic straws include products made from organic materials such as straw, pasta, bamboo, or paper. These break down without leaving a trace in a timescale sometimes as short as weeks.
However, businesses should always be aware of precisely what they are buying. Straws made of polylactic acid, or PLA, a type of organic plastic, are often branded as biodegradable. However, this isn’t strictly true. For these materials to degrade, special conditions and technologies are required. In the ocean, they have not been found to degrade at all over a year.
The Benefits of Biodegradable Straws
Disposable plastic straws are no longer a viable option. With research showing that consumers are more receptive to products that are legitimately sustainable, they don’t make business sense. Yet, given the environmental impact of plastic straws, they don’t make sense for the health of our planet either.
Biodegradable alternatives are the future. Yet, what positive impact do they actually have on the environment? Here are four ways in which biodegradable straws truly make a difference.