Paper Straws v Bamboo Straws - Which is the most eco-friendly?
Bamboo straws are indisputably the most eco-friendly. Here's a short summary of why.
MANUFACTURING From manufacturing point of view, bamboo can be decomposed easily and are made 100% organic which returns to earth without a trace. But with proper care they can last a few years.
Paper production encourages deforestation which removes a lot of oxygen production as compared to bamboo tree. Paper straws production requires fossil fuels and massive energy consumption. Furthermore, chlorine and bleach are used in production of straws made from recycled paper. Bamboo a very fastest regenerating plant, it grows much faster than trees for paper straws. Bamboo is also 100% biodegradable, and won’t harm the environment as it will return to the earth relatively quickly. The manufacturing of the bamboo straw needs to be safe, ethical and eco-friendly in order for the straws to be okay for the environment.
USABILITY Paper straws major complaint is that they are too soft and soggy when moistened. They lose their shape too fast which become almost one time disposable straws - why swap a single use straw for another single use straw?
A straw that is REUSABLE and holds it's shape for intended usage is obviously better. A single bamboo straw that is cared for can be used and reused several hundred times. ----
As consumers, communities and governments push for an end to single-use plastic disposables such as straws and bags, many businesses are switching to paper products as an alternative. Although paper is considered by many the “better” option, it too has harmful environmental impacts.
DEFORESTATION First, paper bags and straws are made from trees. Trees act as a carbon sink, temporarily storing carbon from the atmosphere which reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, thereby lessening climate change. Paper bags must be made from fresh raw materials which translates to more deforestation and habitat damage.
Second, the production of paper bags is much more resource intensive in terms of energy and water. About 10 percent more energy is used to produce a paper bag versus a plastic one, and about 4 times as much water. Although recycled paper can be used it takes even more energy and water to go through the recycling process than virgin material, and the finished product is less durable. Thirdly, Chlorine and bleach and other petrochemical products are used in production. Whereas bamboo straws are harvested organically.
COST PER USE Environmental issues aside, paper products are often more expensive than plastic. Paper straws can cost roughly 5 to 12 cents per unit, while plastic straws cost a little under 2 cents each. Despite common belief, paper products are a lose-lose for both businesses and the environment. Bamboo straws may cost 40 cents per straw. However given they are reusable up to 200 times (if washed and dried correctly after use); this equates to only 1/5 of a cent per use.
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