Campaign launched to make straws out of biodegradable plastic

  • A plastic straw ban would stop 4.4m straws from the fast food industry going to landfill
  • It could cause problems for people with disabilities who rely on plastic straws
  • A campaign led by NQ reporter Bryony Hiscock is calling for a change to biodegradable plastic

Plastic straws are under fire for their contribution to the global plastic crisis, with an estimated 4.4 billion being used annually in the fast food industry.

The type of plastic currently used to make single-use straws is recyclable and many people with disabilities rely on such straws to stay hydrated and give them independence.

Alternative materials such as paper or reusable metal straws do not offer features such as the ability to position the straw or their suitability for hot drinks.

For this reason, we are calling on the government to call for a change in the material that plastic straws are made from. Currently, straws are made from polypropylene which is a “highly recyclable” plastic.

However, it is not recycled due to the small size of straws – they often fall off conveyor belts and end up going to landfill. The ideal material would be a biodegradable bio-plastic. An example is a polyactic acid plastics .

While this type of plastic is more expensive than traditional plastic, we are calling upon the government to give companies an incentive to change from the traditional methods and materials of straw manufacturing.

Banning plastic straws completely would place further barriers to people with disabilities. If single-use plastic straws were manufactured using biodegradable plastic it would reduce the amount of waste without removing an item which many people rely on for their independence. 

Sign our petition to change the material used to make plastic straws.

Join the conversation on Twitter @straws_eco #EcoStraws.