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Using sugarcane straws to save our planet, we have saved
May 18, 2022
Switching from plastic to other compostable straws is a hassle to begin with. To make it more troublesome, choosing the right material that could satisfy both your customers and save the environment poses a greater challenge. With many different eco-friendly straws being available in the market and paper straws dominating the market that many customers have no great experience with. Do you know which is the best material that could benefit both sides?
Our planet is a beautiful place where we need to protect. On the other hand, ensuring the customer experience is a priority for most businesses. Therefore, choosing the best eco-friendly straws became the most important task when switching over from plastic straws. Paper straw is one of the most popular options for business due to its cheap pricing. It is made from two main ingredients which are paper and wax that are both plants based. However, it softens too quickly, as they soften it is almost impossible to suck liquid through them. The wax and film coating on the straws makes the decomposing hard. Since this type of material soften in a fast paste it causes a negative impression to customer experience.
To begin our journey in finding the best single used compostable straws besides paper straws, we must begin in understanding what is considered a proper plastic to a sustainable alternative, also known as PLA.
PLA biodegradable straws are made from naturally occurring plant-based materials such as sugarcane, bamboo, agave, or corn starch that can break down in the environment. With that in mind, let’s investigate the different materials that are available in the market and how it compares to paper straws.
Sugarcane straws are made employing a sugarcane byproduct after the sugar itself is extricated. Once the sugars are extricated from refining and molasses processing the leftover pulp is then formed into a thin plant-based straw. It takes 3- 6 months to degrade naturally.
Bamboo is a long-lasting, fast-growing crop. Its fibers are naturally tubular, making it ideal to produce plant-based straws. It is both strong and flexible, resulting in a long-lasting straw that won’t crack or break easily. However, it is categorized as invasive exotic plants that crowd out native plants and threaten biodiversity.
Agave straws are made from discarded fibers from the tequila and agave sweetener industries. The fibers are flattened before being shaped into straws. The straws themselves are as strong as bamboo.
Made from corn starch (polylactic acid). It is produced with far fewer chemicals and toxins than traditional thermoplastics such as polypropylene. The primary disadvantage of it is that its takes 2-5 years to degrade naturally.
With these many different options available in the market, you can choose sugarcane straws for its pleasant experience that can last long when in use and degrade in 6 months. Bamboo, that is long-lasting with no strong flavor to it. Agave, a similar material as bamboo that is durable when used. Or cornstarch, that has fewer chemicals and toxins. By the end of the day, beside the implementation of government regulation. We should always find a way to ensure our business is sustainable in helping the environment but in the meantime creating great customer experience and maintaining positive customer relationships alongside with the changes. Making the right decision might not always be easy but taking the first step in exploring each option is just a click away.
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February 20, 2023
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