From ancient times, man has used drinking straws. Here’s the history of the drinking straw, dating back to Sumeria.
The modern drinking straw, made of paper, debuted in 1888, ultimately coated in wax so it would hold up longer before getting mushy. But mushy it did get, losing its shape when saturated with liquid.
The use of plastic straws became popular following World War II and now, Americans use millions of plastic straws each day.
Plastic drinking straws are among the top 10 contributors to marine debris pollution [source].
According to statistics, the average person uses 1.6 straws per day. Plastic straws are among the top 10 items collected every year during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.
Plastics are cluttering the world’s oceans, seriously harming wildlife.
These plastics are not biodegrade, but break down into smaller microplastics that have made their way into our food chain via the seafood we eat.
Amazingly, these microplastics have been found in the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean trench in the world (some 7 miles deep).
Tens of thousands of people pledged to request their beverages without straws.
The movement has grown slowly, but finally, there’s momentum.
Coalitions of restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, event venues and other organizations are committing to eliminate single-use plastic straws. Thousands of restaurants across the country have now either gone strawless or switched to sustainable alternatives*.
Environmentally-conscious consumers are aware of the problem, and request no straw, drinking straight from the glass.
Some purchased metal or durable plastic reusable straws to carry with them.
Truth to tell, though, most people don’t want to carry and clean a reusable straw.
So finally, industry has created the better paper straw—one does not collapse with wetness before the drink is finished, and is fully biodegradable.
We’ve tried different brands, and the one we like best is from World Centric.
These straws really hold up. We used one straw for three different drinks, letting it dry between uses.
They’re available in 8″ and 10″ sizes.
Get them here.
World Centric was founded in 2004 to raise awareness of large-scale humanitarian and environmental issues.
Our pursuit of better living has severely degrading the planet’s ecosystems.
The organization also focuses on humanitarian issues, noting that 2.5 billion people live on less than $ 2/day, without access to basic necessities such as adequate food, water, healthcare, education, housing, sanitation etc.
In order to be a self-sustaining organization, without requesting donations or grants, World Centric began selling Fair Trade products and compostable products in the beginning of 2005. Here’s more about World Centric.
*The European Union has banned straws and other single-use items.