If you’ve logged onto social media lately, it’s possible your feed was flooded with anti-plastic posts from environmental advocates. Single-use plastics are a hot topic among environmentalists, as they’re generally used just once before getting sent to the landfill.
Of all the single-use plastics out there, plastic straws gain major media coverage for their negative effects on our environment. But there’s a solution your business can feel good about: paper straws. If you need any more convincing, these 7 facts will prove why your business should make the switch to eco-friendly straws now.
1) Plastic Straws Can’t Be Recycled
You may feel good tossing your plastic straw in the recycling bin…but it’s unlikely that your straw will actually be recycled. Plastic straws are small enough that they can’t go through the mechanical sorter at recycling centers. This means that they wind up in landfills or the ocean, despite your valiant effort to recycle.
2) Plastic Stays Around for a Long Time
Unlike paper, plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose. Polypropylene, the type of plastic most plastic straws are made from, is one such culprit. Plastic straws will last for upwards of 200 years in a landfill. And in the ocean, plastic straws never fully decompose—they only break into smaller microplastics.
At the same time, it’s estimated that an average straw is only used for 20 minutes before its disposal. That’s 20 minutes of use for 200 years of waste.
But there’s a solution. Unlike plastic, paper allows for fully biodegradable straws. In 2-6 weeks, those pretty paper products will have decomposed back into the earth.
3) We Use Crazy Amounts of Plastic Straws
Every single year, we throw away hundreds of billions of plastic straws in the United States, alone. That’s right—every day, Americans use an estimated 500 million plastic straws. That’s a whole lot of sucking. By switching to paper, your business can greatly reduce its footprint.
4) Some People Really Need Straws
As great as it sounds to simply stop using straws, banning them completely is an unrealistic solution. Some people, like the elderly or people with disabilities, really do need straws. What they don’t need, however, is plastic. Eco-friendly paper straws work just as well—and they don’t contain the nasty BPAs found in plastic straws, which have been shown to have harmful hormone-disrupting effects.
5) Paper Straws are Affordable
In recent years, the price of biodegradable straws has gone way down. Businesses can now buy paper straws in bulk for as little as 2 cents each, which we think is a pretty fair price to pay while avoiding harmful chemicals and environmental destruction.
6) Plastic Straws & Stirrers Account for 7.5% of Plastic Pollution
Yes, you read that right. Those tiny tools accompanying your morning coffee make up 7.5 percent of all plastic waste in the environment. That’s a big impact from a seemingly small cause. Luckily, you can also buy eco-friendly paper stirrers to match your straws!
7) Plastic Straws Kill Marine Life
An estimated 71 percent of seabirds have been found with plastic in their stomachs. And that’s just birds living off the sea. For all marine life currently ingesting plastic, the mortality rate is a startling 50 percent. No one wants to contribute to dwindling levels of marine life in our seas. Replacing plastic with paper at your business can help.
No matter the reason behind it, switching your business from plastic to paper straws is a great way to help reduce plastic waste. And with easy online orders, unmatched deals, and free shipping on bulk orders, ReStockIt ensures your business is well-stocked with the things your employees use most. Are you ready to make the switch?