Are Plastic Straws Recyclable?

Using plastic straws these days shouldn’t be news to anyone in America. Since many of us were kids, we have been exposed to the use of plastic straws. If we begin to take a survey now, many people will agree that they will find it odd if their cold drinks had no straw. This is to point out that plastic straws are always in great use.

While this makes sense, there is a part that might not entirely make sense because of its danger to the environment. In this light, we must consider whether we can sustain the use of plastic straws by recycling them. It is also important to consider whether these plastic straws are biodegradable and bad for the environment.

pack-of-plastic-straws

In this post, we will consider everything and see whether Starbucks plastic straws are recyclable, and finally, the various ways to reuse plastic straws.

There’s no doubt that you cannot afford to miss out on the information on this blog. So, pay attention to the detail and acquire more knowledge than when you first stumbled on this.

Can You Recycle Plastic Straws?

You might find it amusing in this segment, first wrapping your head around how straws are made with plastics. We are guessing you are not convinced, but that’s the truth. Those flexible straws are a product of hard plastics.

But whether or not they are plastic is not an issue. The issue is whether or not you can recycle them. And that is the focus of this segment. Here, you will see if you can recycle plastic straws.

No, you can’t recycle plastic straws. You are probably shocked, but this is the case. Even though they are made with plastics, you cannot recycle them.

The reason for this is not far fetched. Plastic straws are plastics, but they are made with minimal plastics such that they are lightweight and flexible. This is where the recycling problem comes in. If you decide to recycle plastic straws, they will fall off the recycling machine and probably mix with other recyclables. This will contaminate those other recyclables and create more problems for the recycling company.

Besides, because they are made with minimal plastic materials, there is hardly much you can make from them when they’re recycled. This state of things makes the cost of recycling higher than just disposing of it. And this is probably why many recycling stations will not accept plastic straws for recycling.

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So, there you have it. Your plastic straws are made with plastic but are not recyclable. 

Are Starbucks Plastic Straws Recyclable?

Starbucks plastic straws are like normal plastic straws. Though they are capable of being recycled, they, however, pose difficulties during the process. Given their flexibility, size, and weight, they easily fall off the recycling machine. This makes them mix with other recyclable materials and contaminate them.

To recycling stations, this is too much stress to go by all in the name of recycling plastic straws. Due to this, they exclude Starbucks plastic straws from being recycled.

So, unless there is a difference that does not involve the straws falling off the recycling machine, recycling stations will continue to exclude them from their recyclable materials.

Are Plastic Straws Biodegradable?

Plastic straws being biodegradable is a big question that we all need answers to. This is important as it will help many of us to regulate our use of plastic straws.

Though it is generally considered biodegradable, the years it takes to break down is not what many of us will live to see. Plastic materials can take up to a thousand years before they breakdown. What this means is that the plastic straws you used a decade ago will still be lying in the environment when you are dead and probably still outlive your grandchildren.

If eventually plastic straws breakdown, it reduces to microplastics in the soil. This microplastic has no benefit to the soil. Rather, it reduces the nutrients of the soils and slows down plants’ growth.

As you can see, plastic straws not being biodegradable can hold many consequences, especially for the environment. It is these consequences that we will consider in the next segment. Follow through.

Are Plastic Straws Bad For The Environment?

There are no two ways about this; plastic straws are bad for the environment . This may not sound like what you want to hear, but that’s it.

Straws have many negative consequences for the environment. First, they are not recyclable and end up in the landfill, causing pollution. Second, they are too flexible and lightweight to forever remain in the landfill. They are easily carried about by flooding and wind. This way, they often end up in ocean bodies where they contaminate the water and pose a serious risk to the sea animals.

If you add that they are plastic materials and take up to a thousand years to biodegrade, you have all you need to make a case against plastic straws.

In all, while we expect the production of environmentally friendly plastic stress, we must caution our use of them. This is so that we can reduce their influx to landfills. In situations that you can take your drinks without them, you don’t have to ask for the straws. Always put the environment first.

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Various Ways To Reuse Plastic Straws

Like your fast-food containers, you are always tempted to throw plastic straws away after each use. While this sounds like the ideal thing to do, you can do other creative things with your straws. Being creative with many things is not the forte of everybody, but it doesn’t mean we won’t put it out here for everyone.

We believe that you might have fewer things on your hands one day and want to get creative. Then and there, this segment will prove useful to you. So, relax and enjoy reading how the various ways we have put together on how you can reuse your plastic straws.

1. Create A Pen Holder On Your Books

If you have ever been in a situation where you wanted to jot some things down, and you realize that you only picked your journal and not the pen, you will know how important it is to have both handy. You will not always have your pen and your journal with you, except your journal, has a pen holder.

If your journal or any of your books doesn’t have a pen holder, you can create one yourself. What you have to do is tape the straw to the side of the book. While taping, ensure that the tape doesn’t tighten the straw. If it does, the pens may not enter it freely. The goal is to hold down the straw on the book and not create a blockage.

2. Make A Vacuum Sealer

There are times where you need to get the air out of your Ziploc bag before sealing it, but this may prove not easy. What you have to do is use a straw to get the air out. Getting the air out of your Ziploc bags is important to help you preserve the content, especially if you are storing veggies or other foods in it.

So, how do you go about this? You have to put your veggies in the Ziploc bag and put a straw in it. Ensure that the other end of the straw is stuck outside for the air to pass through. Once you have done this, zip the Ziploc bag up to the point of the straw and suck out the air as if you are sipping a drink. Once the air is gone, quickly remove the straw and completely zip the bag. That’s all.

3. Use As A Bag Inflater

You can use your plastic straw to inflate your bags if you need to cushion the content. This is important if you are transporting your things over a long distance. What you have to do is follow the step used when using straw as a vacuum cleaner. But this time, you will have to blow air in it. Ensure that the bag is dipped up to the point of the straw so that much air would not get out. This way, you can inflate your bag with ease.

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4. Prevent Your Jewelry From Tangling

Jewelry is a beautiful fashion piece, but they occasionally come with tangling problems. This can make them look ugly or even take your time if you are attempting to untangle them. The good news is that there is a way out of this.

With your plastic straw, you can prevent your jewelry from tangling. What you have to do is thread your jewelry, particularly chains, through your old straw and clasp it. This way, you will not worry about your chain tangling after some time.

5. Beautify Your Flowers

You can’t always see the end of beauty, right? Well, that’s right. No matter how beautiful your flowers are, you can always add more beauty to them. And guess what? You don’t have to spend anything on this.

What you have to do is get your flowers and separate the ones with the tiny stem. Once you do this, you can then stick the stem into the straw. This will automatically add some aesthetics to the flowers. Repeat this for as many flowers as can fit the straw.

6. Make A Single-Use Dispenser

Going out for a day may be what you want to do, but carrying with you the whole lotion container is not part of it. But then, you will need some lotion by morning. So, what do you do? Well, you can use your plastic straw to get ahead.

What you have to do is put some lotion or paste into the straw and seal both ends. Then put it in your bag. This way, you won’t even feel that you have carried anything heavy. This will help you a lot when you need the lotion or paste. You can also use this method to store other things like seasoning, salt, etc.

7. Create Your Fire Straw

Do you know you can have your fire starter with your straw? It looks new but simple. What you need are cotton wool and vaseline. Rubbing the vaseline on the cotton wool, you will stick the cotton wool in the straw. This way, the next time you need a fire starter, your fire straw will come in handy.

Conclusion

Plastic straws have proven useful to almost everyone in America. But then, at the same time, if we don’t treat them well, they could be the next environmental issue. So, as you have seen in this post, you can reuse them to make creative things. Do that and save the environment.

Sources

https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-your-home/Live-sustainably/Single-use-items/Straws

https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/23-practical-ways-reuse-disposable-straws/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/07/10/starbucks-to-ditch-plastic-straws-worldwide-for-adult-sippy-cups/?sh=cafd0f1c9eb6

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.