Putting our Paper Straws to the test

paper straws testHow many times have you used a plastic straw in your life?  Probably many, many times!  Now think about this; every single plastic straw you have ever used and discarded, probably still exists today somewhere!  Crazy, right?

With an estimated 500 million straws being used daily in the US alone, no wonder plastic straws are amongst the top 10 items found in beach cleanups!

Let’s first take a look at why you should ditch plastic straws:

Threat to marine life

Around 100 000 marine mammals consume plastic products unintentionally every year and plastic straws are a major contributor to this problem.  The straws can end up perforating the stomachs of penguins and lodged in the nostrils of sea turtles.

Does not biodegrade

Plastic straws consist of the petroleum bi-product polypropylene.  This does not degrade naturally and ends up floating in our oceans.

Contains BPA

BPA is an industrial chemical used to make plastics and resins.  BPA can seep into food or beverages and is linked to health risks like breast cancer and infertility.

Even though most people are probably aware of the negative impact plastic straws have on the environment, there will likely still be a huge demand for single-use straws in the restaurant industry.  Alternatives like glass, stainless steel and bamboo straws are great for home use, but not really practical for use in a restaurant or coffee shop.  At EcoPack we have expanded our range to include paper straws as they are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws.

We first wanted to test these straws before selling them to you.  We had quite a bit of fun in the office doing our experiment (sorry Patrick for using your desk once again!).

We monitored them over the course of 2 hours to check how soggy they become when left in the liquid.

As expected, the straws will hold fairly well for 15 – 30 minutes.  Thereafter they will become quite soggy.  You will still be able to use them, but it might be a bit uncomfortable if you do.  After an hour, the straws will start to bend a little and use becomes more difficult.  After 2 hours the straws are not really usable anymore.

There is also a difference in texture when you sip on these straws.  Plastic straws are smooth, paper straws feel a bit rough.  This is something that may take a little getting used to.

The type of liquid also has an impact on the speed of degradation.  We found that the straws in the Coke, Steri Stumpie & Yogi Sip became soggy a bit faster than the other liquids (especially the Steri Stumpie).  Although there was a difference, it was not huge.

Paper straws will obviously not perform the same as plastic straws and there definitely is a time limit to how long you can use one in your drink.  Fortunately most people will not take 30 – 60 minutes to finish a drink, especially if it is delicious!

The texture and time limit for usage on these straws are tiny sacrifices we can all make in order to save the environment from the pollution of millions of plastic straws daily!



On September 8th, 2017, posted in: EcoPack Product Information, News by

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