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Bamboo Solves The Straw Problem

By Bamboo Grove on April 26, 2018

Plastic drinking straws are a nuisance. That’s a strong stance to take I’m sure. We all love those bendy straws we used to drink out of when we were kids. We couldn’t imagine drinking an Arnold Palmer without a colorful straw. Straws make it easy for us to drink our favorite drinks on the go? What about your morning coffee? What would your coffee be like if you didn’t have a plastic stirrer/straw? So the problem with straws is this. There’s too many of them, they’re made of plastic, and people treat them like gum and cigarette butts. Once they leave your glass or your cup, they usually end up on the ground. Take a look outside of most restaurants and you’ll probably find one on the ground. They litter highways and streets. Even worse, they are found on our beaches. Anything that can end up on the beach can ultimately end up in the ocean. That’s where the environmental movement begins to take concern. Are plastic straws finding their way into water sources and disrupting wildlife? It has been found that since 1989, the plastic straw and stirrer are the sixth most common type of litter found on California’s beaches. This puts it behind such objects as cigarette butts, food wrappers, lids, bags, and plastic dining ware.

Californians are known for their environmentally conscious lifestyle, and this topic has them on alert as to whether their morning coffee is hurting the environment. The situation has prompted several California cities to ban the straw, including our own Berkeley. The movement has been dubbed “Straw Wars” and faces significant pushback. Obviously, we don’t like being told what we can and can’t use. The straw has a strong attachment for most people. Baby boomers might remember splitting a malt at the local diner. Kids love crazy straws. Most importantly though, plastic straws are simply cheaper. Biodegradable straws can cost up to eight times more than plastic.

The key to getting out of this environmental problem might lie in bamboo. In previous articles, we’ve discussed how companies in Asia are working to make bamboo food dishes for carry out orders. Bamboo is biodegradable and far less harmful to the environment. The feasibility of a disposable bamboo straw may be something that needs figured out in the long run. However, the reality of bringing your own reusable bamboo straw might be a solution in the meantime.

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