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Be proactive and BYOS bring your own straw whenever you go out to eat or grab a drink. Could you ensure our cocktails do not come with straws? If you are at a more old-school, casual, or tourist-trap establishment, beware. Asking to avoid the toxins of plastic and the environmental impact they cause is your right. I absolutely hate plastic straws as well. They are literally so pointless and on the same level as plastic coffee stirrers I have just written an article on my blog about disposable plastic culture in seaside destinations and I mention straws as one of those things that we could all eradicate.

So I decided not to use a single straw when I have a drink outside. Also, I watched a youtube video of Lucie Fink from refinery 29, showing us her five days of no trash, and I learned a lot from it! Thanks for sharing tips! Keep up the good work! The Trash is for Tossers youtube channel has a bunch of videos to help you get started out with your zero waste lifestyle! Thanks for the support! Whenever I drink straight from the glass at a restaurant my friends and family comment on how disgusting that is and tell me to use a straw.

That just be super annoying to hear. First, you should not care what your friends and family have to say about you drinking without a straw. But they are honestly the single most important. People use them to eat and drink. I believe we can use better plastics, develop better ways to recycle them and make straws that will last for more than one use.

But in the meantime, this Government and the media have a responsibility to protect people like me from great danger. Create reimbursement or incentives for buying long term products like my mug, and make more funding available for mobile arm supports. But most importantly, keep straws available for disabled people only. Our lives depend on it. Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. I've been avoiding straws at most restaurants for a while now.

The big issue for me is environments where an open cup is a bad thing. If I want to pick up a meal from the drive though or get a drink at the movie theater, I need a cover. If there's higher supply, the price to produce goes down. But higher demand leads to higher supply in this case, so yes. Economy of scale and marginal cost.

Capital cost for factories, equipment, space is the same, say, for two machines. But in one case you're splitting that capital costs between 10 million units sold, whereas in another you're splitting the capital costs between only 10 thousand units sold. The same is playing out now for lithium-ion batteries as used in electric vehicles. Its economies of scale at work; pretty more the more of something you make, the cheaper it can be made for if demand stays relatively the same. So, it might cost bucks for a pack of 10k paper straws with their current manufacturing capacity, but once that ramps up to deal with McDonald's and other food chain's demand they should be a lot cheaper.

I've been looking for a plastic straw replacement for my small restaurant, and the compost company told us they couldn't handle any of the straws we were looking at. In the words of my compost guy "Compostable straws are compostable the same way that flushable wipes are flushable. It technically works, but is really bad for the system. I often wonder why paper based stuff can't be compressed and burned as fuel.

Would be carbon neutral at least. Usually there is other stuff mixed in with the paper to make it water resistant, not all of which burns especially cleanly.

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Its not carbon neutral. However I think either Switzerland or Sweden uses incinerator power plants and actually needs to import waste because the country does not produce enough of its own. Burning paper is always carbon neutral because the carbon has to have come from the atmosphere recently. Burning fossil fuels isn't carbon neutral in that sense because it's been sequestered for millions of years.

Idk how much effort you want to put in, but Taco Time is a small fast-food chain in the PNW and when I went in last week everything they use except the milk bottle in kids meals is compostable. The downside is that they are pretty expensive per piece, difficult to clean, and my guests tend to leave with anything that's either cute or distinctive and small.

Given that we're an Italian restaurant, I think we'll try pasta straws first, and switch to a reusable metal or glass straw if our guests don't like it. Biodegradable should be in quotes. If you put enough trash on top of something it doesn't always break down as most things need sunlight and oxygen to degrade.

That's hard to do if we are throwing tons of trash away every day. Land fills aren't a huge problem, environmentally speaking, the only damage they do is sometimes leaching nasty chemicals into the ground, which biodegradable staws won't contribute to. How about actual straws, like ones made from hollow thin-walled plants? They're nontoxic and biodegradeable and so forth.

Straws Save Lives Like Mine – Don’t Ban Them!

The main issue might be cost of plants plus processing. Paper straws are the obvious artificial replacement, and although current ones get soggy, expect them to get vast improvements on water resistance treatments to the degree we've never seen before in paper products. Since plastic cups at fast food places were banned decades ago paper cup treatments have become impressive as well, especially with the new developments in superhydrophobic materials, although I'm not sure if it scales down to straw-size.

Another could be that you could buy non-disposable ones made from metal or even plastic and maybe get a deposit thing of them. Having the deposit high enough would ensure most of them would be returned, same as in bottles. Seems strange that they would have kept plastic as a backup at all then, unless the paper ones are so inferior people would actually bother asking for plastic.

They kind of are. Think of them like Dixie cups. Some restaurants have started using pasta for straw substitutes. This was one place doing it, and a quick google search shows them for sale from several vendors.


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Can confirm, was in a restaurant last friday night where they used pasta straws instead of paper or plastic ones. They said they looked into paper straws and biodegradable ones but said they're very expensive. This is the first I'm hearing about this. A noodle straw would be a tasty treat at the end of my drink.

But, I love eating uncooked noodles as a snack. I've done it for as long as I can remember. Just one or two not a whole bunch.

You're not alone, I've definitely heard of people eating raw spaghetti. It wasn't bad the couple times I tried it but otherwise it's not something I eat. I've tried Red Vine straws, Starbuck's cookie straws, cinnamon straws, etc, but not raw pasta straws True, had them in Grammer school and they were soggy before you could finish drinking your little carton of milk. I see you went to spelling school, but you should have gone to a school that teaches both subjects.

It's nice that you know that it's "should have", though! That's not meant to be condescending to you. Humans these days fail to hurdle such low bars, and it's refreshing to notice when someone easily makes the jump. I remember when our gradeschool switched to plastic bags for milk instead of cartons in like , to help the environment. Treefelling seems to be the lesser of two evils with what is becoming much more well known, seeing as you can at least plant more trees. Plastic stays around for a long, long, long time though.

Yes, I was interested to learn years ago that they do this in Canada. The difference is that apparently they have bagged milk in grocery stores in Canada, too. At least in California where I'm from, I've never seen bagged milk in grocery stores as an adult. It was only in grade school. My jr high and high school in a different city had cartons. Canada has started seriously considering the ban at least at the provincial level , but one issue that's been brought up is disabled.

The paper straws are apparently not resistant enough; metal isn't practical for all situations and potentially damaging to teeth for someone without tactile feedback, and hot drinks require something that immediately expresses the beverage temperature while retaining form--the CBC here actually did a pretty long program around it about a month ago. We started using biodegradable straws a few weeks ago at the restaurant I work at. They're corn based from what I've been told.

Could they not make the lids the same as a coffee cup lid so that you could drink from it like a normal cup while maintaining most of the benefits of a lid like reduced spillage in vehicles ect? I agree with this, but I imagine they'll want to get rid of plastic lids at some point too so will still need to research materials. The bio degradable ones are more expensive so to counter that we have stopped automatically serving them in drinks unless it's a cocktail that requires one e. We've also moved them from the front of the bar where customers can help themselves, to the back so they have to request one.

Just put your lips on the filthy rim of the cup, where the server has been fondling it? That's not even Mexico. Not in the car, which is usually where I am of I'm eating fast food. That's why I was curious, I was guessing that since Britain doesn't have the same car culture we do they might be dining in more, but I still couldn't see just getting rid of straws without some kind of substitute. I think there are some places that are banning eating while behind the wheel as a form of distracted driving, so that could solve that problem.

When I was a kid, straws were made out of waxed paper; a long strip wrapped around in a spiral. They weren't as durable once you kinked one, it was usually unusable , but they worked fine for the purpose. Perhaps we'll be going back to that. In Hungary I saw a bar where they used pasta straws and I think it's a fantastic idea. I don't like paper straws because they get soggy after a while. The programme featured a whale which had died by eating too much plastic and talked about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The story was picked up by UK media and became a trending news item. The poor whale was all anyone was talking about for a week and stirred a big change in people's awareness here towards single-use plastic. The UK is already big on recycling with every household having a recycling bin that goes out along side our normal rubbish. In the last year, the government has announced plans to introduce bottle recycling machines, like they have in Germany at supermarkets, where you can get money back by recycling your bottles. Basically, David Attenborough is amzing and has used his status as 'national treasure' to help highlight a huge environmental issue and change the world for the better.

Can we get him a statue or something? Maybe made out of recycled plastic? Call me sceptical but programmes like that have been frequent visitors to our TV screens over the last several decades. I expect it's more likely the answer above yours, which is that China has recently decided to stop importing plastic waste from several countries.

Alongside planet earth, the video of the turtle with a straw stuck in its nostril went viral. Also straws are an easy target, we don't need them except for people with certain medical conditions , they're easily replaced with other materials the paper ones are making a come back , it can be implemented in restaurants and bars and it's an easy bandwagon for people to get on board with.

It doesn't affect your life in a major way to boycott straws. Now supermarket packaging, that should be a global focus. Sea animals think the straws are food and try to eat them, as with many other plastics.

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From what I can tell, it seems that most people get especially heated against these plastic straws thanks to the video below showing a huge beautiful sea turtle with a straw in its nose, preventing it from breathing properly. Just to add on to this, plastic is non-biodegradable, and will typically take hundreds of years to decompose.

As a society, Americans overuse plastic, and a common solution to this problem is to target some of the most commonly used plastic products like straws, lids, bags, etc. America ranks 20, as of I don't think anyone is pointing the finger at the US. I think Americans are pointing fingers at themselves, saying we can do better.

Canada and Cali have banned or put high taxes on plastic bags. Why can't the rest of the us follow suit? Just because we're not number one in plastic pollution doesn't mean we shouldn't take action. Not sure where you're getting your info on Canada, but as a Canadian all stores still use plastic bags in my province. Wal-Mart charge 5 cents per bag the only store that does it , but nowhere in my province has them banned or highly taxed. PEI has banned them, giving retailers 2 years to completely remove them from stores Montreal and Victoria and Vancouver has a ban on plastic straws have also done so but saying Canada is pretty misleading as the majority of the country are still using them.

We need to improve and adopt reusable bags just as much as any other country. Oh, I thought the charge for the bags was a tax? The charge for the bag is what I meant when I wrote highly taxed. I used to go to Toronto a lot and they charge for plastic bags at every store. Some even charge upwards of 75 cents iirc. Yes, but traditionally they also process our garbage too, so much of it is our escaped garbage from shipping and processing This is misleading, as it's end-line garbage disposal and doesn't account for the global waste trade. Rich countries literally sell their garbage to poor countries so that they don't have to deal with it.

It's hard to know how much of the garbage those "top 5 producers" actually really produced themselves. We're really easy to point fingers at right now though what with the gutting of our EPA and promotion of fossil fuel pollution. Every single country has loved blaming the US for every damn thing for so damn long that all Americans now automatically assume were the best at being the worst, as evidence by the above comment. Trump has absolutely fuckall to do with it. In fact, literally almost nothing is about Trump.

Guy before him referenced gutting the EPA and promoting fossil fuels. Can you name a time in the last 50 years before Trump, because it didn't happen until him to my knowledge. Every single one of these replies ignores the 'and'. Fix your code compilers. Hell, scientists have already been saying it the for the past 50 years, and the use of plastics is ever increasing. Hi, older than 12 here - And yes, environmentalism has definitely been a "thing" since before you were born. The major concern is the plastic that ends up in the ocean right?

Like the great pacific garbage patch? What's America's contribution to that? Even those are minor contributors anyways. Industrial and fishing waste are the biggest problem. Customers get scapegoated when businesses are the one who are to blame. That's a good point, but what if I want to limit other people's freedom so that I can feel like I'm making a difference instead of actually making a difference? All of the above is categorically false. It is currently popular on reddit for some reason to believe that the USA does not account for its share of global ocean plastic pollution.

Most people seem to not know for one about the global garbage trade, wherein rich countries literally pay poor countries to take their garbage away.


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How much of the global plastics issue is the USA's fault is hard to know, considering end-line disposal is calculated on a country by country basis. If we send Inda a ton of used plastic and they toss it in the ocean, that's counted as India's garbage, despite the fact that it was consumed in the USA. I have seen estimates as low as 1. Misleading information can bring people to insane conclusions, like that the world's largest consumption-driven economy could possibly have a contribution that low.

Don't listen to that guy, he's ignorant and wrong. Can't believe people upvoting that. China banned plastic bags in , half of Indian states have though not much practical enforcement , Taiwan has banned them. Chinas actually banned the important of foreign trash in April of this year, largely targeted plastic imports that were shipped there for disposal. In fact a huge portion of Asian cultures have banned plastic bags or are actively trying to phase them out. I go to China often.

They have plastic bags everywhere!