Straws are super topical in the media today and most have decided to boycott them – even your local ‘spoons. But paper straws are still single use and come with their own issues; some people don’t recycle them and they go soft quickly.
Alternatives include metal straws or bamboo straws. Whilst stainless steel straws are great and super easy to clean (I got mine from Dash Vegan in Lenton) they just aren’t for everyone. A great alternative to these is currently provided by Green Monkey, a Warwickshire based independent shop who offer a whole pack of bamboo straws for £9.99.
Bamboo is a great plastic alternative, it has a fast renewal rate (around 3ft each day), it is durable, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial which means any bamboo replacement is, in my eyes, pretty cool.
I brought a set in anticipation of freshers drinking week. Freshers create so much waste – plastic pop bottles, glasses and straws, all awful to clean up after a heavy night. The bamboo straws are enough for you and your housemates to share so they won’t cost much and you can save the planet a little and reduce the cleaning up whilst you’re at it.
When mine arrived they were in plastic-free packaging and came with a pipe cleaner – handy for more than just the straws. You get 12 in a pack which is more generous than most competitors but also means you can split a pack and pay less or chuck a few in different going out bags so you always have one to hand (I had enough for my housemates and myself).
What’s great about these is that if they do break, which is unlikely they’re pretty robust, they’re 100% biodegradable so you can chuck them in your compost and feel no guilt.
I took them for a spin for a week in my life and I can honestly say – I experienced no issues. I went for a canal-side lunch and asked to use my own straw instead. I gave my spare straws to my friends who were all delighted to notice that there was no taste difference or uncomfortable sensation in the mouth. I used them for a BBQ – again a massive hit. I then packed 4 into the pouch they come with and took them for a girls weekend in Manchester (my hometown). Going out I was able to use them in all the bars and they actually made the cocktails look really cute. Overall, I and my friends were really impressed. After a few days, it became second nature to keep them on me at all times.
At the end of the day it’s our future that we need to secure. By doing the small changes we can all make a massive difference. Make your freshers a green freshers and do a little now so we don’t have to take drastic measures later.
-This blog post was written by Adelle Hood, a NTU student in the Animal Rural and Environmental Science School. Many thanks from the Green Academy!