PLA-based bioplastic straws might be the “eco-friendly” choice, but there are some serious reasons to avoid them. For instance, these kinds of straws are not compostable. Compostable refers to a product that can break down into carbon dioxide organic compounds and biomass within about 90 days without leaving harmful residues behind. PLA-based products do not meet these qualifications. Here are seven reasons you should avoid PLA-based bioplastics.
1. They Encourage Littering
A lot of people think that because PLA plastics are made from plants, they will somehow magically decompose. This is not the case. In fact, when PLA-based products end up as litter, they can actually last much longer than their petroleum-based counterparts.
2. They are made from GMOs
PLA is usually made from genetically modified corn. This is unsustainable, but it also encourages the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides.
3. They are Not Recyclable
Unlike PET plastic, which can be recycled multiple times, PLA bioplastics cannot be recycled. This means that every time you use a PLA straw, you create more waste that will end up in a landfill.
4. They Have a Huge Carbon Footprint
The production of PLA emits twice as much carbon dioxide as the production of PET plastic. This is because the corn used to make PLA requires a lot of energy and resources to grow.
5. They Require a Lot of Energy to Produce
PLA is made by breaking down corn starch into sugar and fermenting it with bacteria. This process requires a lot of energy and high greenhouse gas emissions.
6. They are Not Durable
PLA plastic straws are made from a brittle material that can easily snap or break. This means that you are more likely to end up with bits of PLA in your drink than you are with PHBH-based straws.
7. They are Not Safe to Use
Some studies have shown that PLA can release harmful chemicals when heated. This means that if you use a PLA straw in a hot drink, you could be exposing yourself to dangerous toxins.
So, think twice next time you are considering using a PLA straw. There are plenty of reasons to avoid them, and they might not be as “eco-friendly” as you think. If you want drinking straws made entirely from safe materials, contact Pura Vida Bioplastics today! These drinking straws are safe, and sustainable, and will never end up in a landfill.