What goes into the perfect cocktail? Quality spirit, definitely. Great mixer – from a glass bottle, of course. Maybe some garnish, depending on the type of cocktail and often a straw.
Plastic straws have been used for generations by bar-goers, but it’s time for a change. We’re beginning to understand the consequences of single-use plastic straws on the environment. They definitely should not be part of the components that make a great cocktail.
Since the plastic straw was invented, people seem to have developed a serious straw addiction. In Australia, it is estimated that an average Pub uses close to 100,000 plastic straws every year and the War on Waste team estimated that 10 million straws are being used every single day in Australia.
Taking this into account, there are venues throughout Australia that are beginning to realise that these straws end up in our oceans, landfills and waterways polluting our environment and some have already started to phase out non-reusable plastic straws to offer more eco-friendly reusable straw alternatives, such as steel, glass and bamboo straws.
A lot of venues are facing the issue of what to do when it comes to phasing out single-use plastic straws and making the switch to more eco-friendly reusable straws. There are some considerations that business need to make. It is important to look at the associated costs, sustainability of straws and how easy making the switch will be.
Alternatives to Plastic
When we take a closer look at steel straws there are a couple of things that can be said. They are reusable and more sustainable than single-use plastic straws. However, steel straws are still very pricey compared to plastic straws, also when compared to some other alternatives.
From an eco-friendly perspective, steel straws may be a bit of a problem. They are made out of non-natural material and have a higher carbon footprint because of the energy used to produce them. More so, they are adding to the waste problem due to incorrect disposable. A massive consideration.
What about paper straws?
By using paper straws, you are effectively solving the problem of one single-use disposable with another single-use disposable.
Paper straws are not necessarily environmentally-friendly. Paper straws can be made from fresh raw materials that contribute to deforestation and habitat damage. Paper straws also have a relatively high carbon footprint due to their manufacturing process. The majority of paper straw brands use harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process of overcoming common complaints such as paper straws getting soggy too quickly or the colour of paper straws leaching into drinks. There are even paper straws with a plastic outer lining! The best environmentally friendly solution is to avoid single-use items altogether in favour of reusable bamboo straws.
When looking at bamboo straws, they can be very cost effective and the most environmentally friendly alternative. Bamboo straws are 100% natural and organic product, they have a low carbon footprint, can be reused hundreds of times and they are also completely compostable.
Bamboo straws eliminate the potential for ingesting chemicals that are often used in the dyeing process of paper and plastic straws. They can be used for both hot and cold drinks and are naturally anti-bacterial. Bamboo straws are the 100% from-nature option for reusable drinking straws.
Make the switch
If one venue takes the pledge to Sip Sustainably it can lead to 100,000 less straws being polluted in our environments. And if 10 venues decide to take on this pledge, there will be 1 million plastic straws less in our oceans and environment!