Northern Living - Biodegradable single use drinking straws - Why not?One of the trending concerns of 2018 in the use of single use plastics and their impact of the environment, especially the oceans. Plastics in everyday life are almost unavoidable and pubs and restaurants unfortunately are not entirely immune from the problem. This year four of the major pub chains have already announced that they will be withdrawing plastic drinking straws for their retail operations. Which initially sounds like a very positive step. However there are certain drinks, especially cocktails, which are simply not the same without a straw.

There are several alternatives to plastic straws. Glass, Stainless Steel and the dreaded soggy paper strew, we've probably all had poor experiences with. Leaving to paper straw behind both metal and glass straws present a considerable cost and certain obvious health and safety issues.

Here is a real alternative which is relatively low cost and environmentally friendly. Single use straws manufactured from Polylactic Acid (PLA) are broken down by micro-organisms in a composing environment over a relatively short period of time. The constituent released Lactic Acid is metabolised by the microbes and there remains no polymer material in the environment. A win – win. There are limitations and correct disposal is key. PLA which finds its way into the oceans will remain, so these straws and other products manufactured from PLA need composing. So counter to intuition the correct disposal route is presently your household green bin. But with the assistance of local authorities green bins could quite easily be provided to food and beverage based bushiness.

This is not an affiliate link, simply an example of biodegradable straws which are already available in the UK - Allance Online

Perhaps we should be encouraging our favourite restaurant and the pub on the corner to embrace them and do their bit for the environment?