The West Australian government implemented a ban on single use plastic bags on 1st July 2018. After this ban came in to effect, the premier Mark McGowan indicated that further single use plastic bans may be imposed including a potential future ban on plastic straws (refer to this article Plastic straw ban being considered by WA Government, Premier Mark McGowan reveals).
Fortunately, a range of Eco-straws has been developed that can provide an environmentally friendly alternative to the current plastic straws. These eco-straws offer a sustainable packaging solution, that will either degrade or compost helping reduce landfill, and not remain on earth as long as plastic. It is important we also look at also reducing the risk of all plastics and waste entering our waterways and marine systems.
First, lets look at the Oxo-Biodegradable Eco-straw...
Our Oxo-Biodegradable Eco-Straw is the most cost effective option. A Plastic Straw with the additive “Reverte” which alters the molecular structure of the plastic, giving the end user the same experience as a normal PP straw with all liquids including high acid juices, but the added eco advantage of having an approximate lifespan of 18 months after its useful life instead of 30+ years, like a normal straw.
After an initial 48 hours of sunlight, and exposure to oxygen, the straw will begin to degrade, eventually become brittle like a leaf, slowly breaking down to where it can be then be attacked in a micro-biological form, eventually degrading to CO2 and Biomass. If this straw unfortunately finds it way into an open environment, this is where its degradable properties work well. Our OXO-BIO Eco-Straws meet standards for exposing and testing plastics that degrade by a combination of Oxidisation and Biodegradation. These straws take longer to break down compared to PLA or Paper and therefore cannot be claimed as a commercially compostable straw, however once fully broken down, meet the same eco-toxicity standards as Tier 3 - Ecotoxicity in the standard EN13432. The plastic, now biomass and CO2 poses no threat to the earth, once fully broken down.
• ASTM D6954-04(2013) – American Standard Guide for Exposing and Testing;
• Plastics that Degrade in the Environment by a combination of Oxidation and Biodegradation;
• This covers Tier 1 – Degradability, Tier 2 – Biodegradability, Tier 3 – Eco-toxicity EN13432 – Ecotoxicity (Only);
• USA and EU FDA approvals For Plastics coming into contact with Food.
The other option is the Paper Eco Straw...
The paper eco-straws have now been sold in Australia for over 4 years, tried and tested for quality and usability. There are a lot of cheap imitations, but ours are a real 3-ply Food Grade Kraft Paper Straw, making the straw last well in a drink, and hold its shape, as one of the best on the market.
With no waxes, and only 0.6% food grade glue to make the straw, this meets the required standards of EN13432 that glue must be less than 1%. As a paper straw is made up of natural cellulose fibres it can be universally considered compostable and biodegradable. We have lab tests results meeting a PASS for Council of Europe Resolution AP (2002) test for Heavy Metals and Chemicals (list can be provided) and also to FDA standards. Our paper straws are made in a factory holding BSCI certification, and are made to the highest standard including UV pasteurized before final packing. Our supplier holds FSC Certificaton (Forest Stewardship Council) for the paper sourced to make our paper straws, so the paper is sourced from sustainable forests in a controlled environment. Our Paper straws hold up in all beverages, but does not quite last as long in a high acidic juice or smoothie, where the Oxo-Bio may be a better choice here.
Paper straws would be best considered for safety of our marine environment, as Plastic and Oxo-Bio still pose a threat to marine animals if they unfortunately enter this environment due to irresponsible humans, along with plastic bags, plastic and glass bottles, and other rubbish. For our customer’s close to the water it would be recommended that paper straws are possibly the best choice, having natural celulose fibres as the primary material of the straw. We just need to ensure that any straws don’t end up in the oceans in the first place as a primary objective.
• PASS for Council of Europe Resoltion AP (2002) test for Heavy Metals and Chemicals;
• USA and EU FDA approvals For Paper Products coming into contact with Food;
• FSC certified - Forest Stewardship Council - Paper sourced for the manufacture of paper straws;
Still not sure between the two different types of eco-straws?
Here is a handy table that summarises the benefits of each of the eco-straws and the best application for each.
The oxo-biodegrable eco-straws are available in regular straws, cocktail straws, jumbo straws and long thickshake straws. The paper straws are available as regular straws.
Let your customers know...
The oxo-biodegradable eco-straws do look similar to regular PP straws and so you may wish to let your customers know that they are using eco-straws. These handy stickers allow you to display them on your straw dispensers.
At Taldara Industries, we pride ourselves on being the hospitality professionals and as such, we are committed to offering sustainable packaging options to our customers. If you have any further questions please contact us, we would love to help.