The Switch to Paper Straws
December 6, 2019
Central has made the switch from plastic to paper straws and I believe it is a good idea. According to National Geographic, “In just the U.S. alone, one estimate suggests 500 million straws are use each day. One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches”, but straws are not the biggest problem, “Eight million tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year, and straws comprise just 0.025 percent of that”. Even though straws are not the biggest contributors to ocean pollution Central has still taken action to help the environment.
What are the benefits of paper straws? Paper straws are fully compostable and if they end in the ocean will start to break down in 3 days. Plastic straws take hundreds of years to decompose and plastic straws take 2-6 weeks. Due to the booming demand for paper straws businesses can now buy paper straws in bulk for as little as 2 cents each.
I believe paper straws are a great start for our school to get involved in helping the environment. Students usually only use one straw during lunch then throw then out so having an alternative to plastic will make an impact. Not everyone can afford to buy alternative straws so replacing the plastic at school can make students and teachers feel like they are making a difference.
Alternatives for paper and plastics straws: stainless steel straws, reusable, easy to clean, have a long-life span, dishwasher safe, and don’t affect the taste of the drink. Silicone straws: reusable, easy to clean, long life span, must be hand washed. Bamboo straw: lightweight, compost in a few weeks.