Paper straw

Are plastic straws recyclable?

Huge consumption of plastic straws

At present, the global consumption of plastic straws is staggering. In the United States, about 500 million plastic straws are discarded every day, and the total length of the connected ones can circle the earth two and a half times. The service life of a plastic straw is only about 20 minutes, but it takes more than 200 years to naturally degrade into small molecules..

Plastic polution

Then areplastic straws recyclable ?

The answer is totally negative. And they have bad impact on environment.

1. Plastic straws are difficult to recycle

Since plastic straws are difficult to reuse and most restaurants do not classify them as recyclable waste, the ultimate fate of plastic straws is to fall into landfills or float on the ocean. The marine lives swallow or inhale these wastes innocently and eventually die in pain.

2. Plastic straws are not biodegradable

Plastic are not biodegradable and also will gradually break up in the ocean, forming a large number of microplastic particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm. The toxic and harmful substances contained in the microplastic particles themselves and the toxic and harmful substances adsorbed in the water will accumulate through the food chain and may eventually enter the human body.

Why are plasticstraws bad for the environment ?

Now the plastic straws in the world are still in high-frequency use in our lives. Here I will interpret the harm of plastic straws.

1. Plastic straw pollution

Plastic pollution is one of the most important environmental problems in the world. Among plastic garbage, plastic straws are one of the most common garbage, and countries around the world consume a huge number of plastic straws every day. Those discarded straws that are not properly disposed of can be harmful to the environment and organisms.

2. The plastic straw will emit toxic substances when heated

Normal PP plastic can withstand high temperatures above 100°C, and will not emit a plastic smell after being heated. Some unscrupulous manufacturers will use recycled materials for production in order to reduce their costs. When such a straw is used, the toxic and harmful substances in it will be dissolved in the water. If it is used for a long time, it will have an adverse effect on the liver and nervous system of the human body.

If the straws we use emit a plastic smell after encountering hot drinks, then such straws must have quality problems.

3. Colorful straws may be harmful

Some illegal manufacturers will dye the straws in order to cover up the variegated color of the straws made of recycled materials. Therefore, the brighter the color of the straw, the greater the potential safety hazard.

4. Excessive plasticizer in the straw harms the digestive system and liver

Our country stipulates that the straw should be made of polypropylene material, because this material does not contain plasticizer and is basically safe. If the plasticizer exceeds the standard, or a straw made of waste plastic is used, harmful substances such as plasticizer will migrate out of the straw and mix with the beverage. If consumed for a long time, it will cause harm to the human digestive system, liver, etc. It is easy to cause the decrease of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, and can also lead to precocious puberty, infertility, and even cancer.

5. Most people don’t know that the straw contains harmful materials

Almost all beverage shops use colorful straws, especially red, orange and pink straws. Some plastic straws are packaged in separate plastic paper, but there is no brand logo or material. Most citizens do not even know the hazardous substances contained in disposable straws.

Banning plastic straws

Although plastic straws are small, they are difficult to recycle and will cause serious harm to our environment and other organisms. Facing the global challenge brought by single-use plastic pollution, governments in many places around the world have set off an upsurge of “ban on straws” this year, and catering giants have also stopped supplying plastic straws. Therefore, promoting ordinary consumers to minimize disposable plastic products such as plastic straws are the best response.

At the same time, the “ban on straws” will help consumers change their habit of using plastic straws, and consumers will soon be able to adapt to alternatives. In order to reduce the harm of plastic straws, paper straws have become an effective alternative. Paper straws use paper as raw materials, they are environmentally friendly straws that will not pollute the environment and can be completely degraded in the natural environment. If more and more companies promote alternatives such as paper straws, the cost of these alternatives may fall, and the cost factor will not make businesses feel embarrassed when complying with the “ban on straws”.

In fact, paper straws can still have many negative environmental effects, especially if they are improperly disposed. And paper straws itself also have shortcomings, however, paper straws will generally still be less harmful than plastic.

The collision of human life comfort and environmental protection

Whether it is a paper straw or a plastic straw, its essence is the collision between human life and nature.

According to Dr. Philipp Schwabl, a researcher at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, 50% of the world’s population has microplastics in their bodies. The components of microplastics mainly come from the common plastic products in our daily life: polypropylene (PP), polyethylene and terephthalate (PET). The plastic products we use in our daily garbage disposal also have the problem of being difficult to degrade. Eventually, the harmful chemicals in these plastic products will invade the bodies of plants and organisms, and finally return to the human body.

Even if humans know that plastics are harmful to nature and humans themselves, humans cannot give up their dependence on plastic products. Plastic products are low-cost, easy to carry, and have a long service life. They are the most suitable for the rapid development of human society.

When the comfort of human life collides with environmental protection, we should think about how to better balance the relationship between human life and nature. In addition to more stringent government legislation, people also need people to change consumption habits. And all of this requires the action of all of us.

Paper and other plant-based straws contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, according to a new analysis. As consumers turn to alternatives to single-use plastic, drinking straws made of plant-based materials like paper are coming into wider use, and many are marketed as biodegradable or even compostable.

In conclusion

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