ENVIRONMENT

Making straws out of straw: Adopting old ways to conserve the environment

Sometimes the best way to move forward is to go back

That’s right, people! Making straws from actual straw. We’ve all grown fond of using – what are now – the traditional plastic straws. However back in the old days, the long cylindrical tube of plastic was made from the stalks of rye

Eco- friendly rye straws
Rye straws

Rye is a type of grass similar to wheat or barley, making it eco-friendly. They where introduced in the 1800’s. The obvious benefits immediately led the product to skyrocket in the market.

It was a convenient way to consume a drink. You prevent food stains from your lips around the rim of a glass. Parents found a convenient way to prevent their kids from making mess from drinking liquids.

Kids drinking from straw

Restaurant goers, who no more had to hesitate to drink liquids directly from the glass due to the concerns regarding the cleanliness of the restaurant.

And let’s not forget a highly underrated one: preventing the risk of getting wrinkles by stretching your skin when you have your face mask on. Who’s with me? It was indeed a glorious invention.

However, the straws made from rye did have quite a few setbacks. Using the straws for a long amount of time resulted in a mushy mess and left a nasty aftertaste.

Fortunately, Marvin C Stone, an American inventor picked up on the problem. He took it in his own hands to formulate something that would eliminate all the problems associated with rye straws.

Stone created paper straws with paraffin wax-coated manilla paper. It was time to kiss rye straws goodbye. However, it didn’t just stop there.

Eventually the modern day plastic straws conquered the market, leading to the discontinuation of the paper straws. 

Plastic straws

They were cheap and had no straw-bearing (no pun intended) problems as the rye straws. Again, a glorious invention, but not so much for the environment. 

People slowly became accustomed to using plastic straws, and that is what has been the case till this day.

And to be completely honest, it would be considered high time to bring back the good old rye straws. Why? Plastic pollution.

Disposable plastic pollution

Disposable plastics are destroying all things that reside in earth, with plastic straws being one of the prime products that contributes to the ongoing mayhem.

There are many entrepreneurs, however, who have recognized this problem and are striving to bring back new innovative rye straws. With the resources we have now, we can re-adopt the straws used back in the day, free of all its previous setbacks.

With enough conviction, the new rye straws can create a wave big enough to wash up all plastic straws ashore. That way we might just be able to cut earth a teeny tiny bit of slack.

Right now, rye straws aren’t available just anywhere and they’re not as easy to mass produce as plastic straws. However, there are still tons of other eco-friendly alternatives that we can adopt, such glass straws, metal straws and bamboo straws. 

eco-friendly glass straws

Eco-friendly metal straws

Granted, it can be quite a hassle to clean them due to their hard-to-reach structure. But considering all the damage caused by plastic, we might want to question ourselves wether choosing convenience over the betterment of the environment is really something we need to scratch our heads over

Not just the environment. We’re talking about jeopardizing the oceans, our cities and living species including humans.

And as far as price comes, yes, plastic straws are relatively cheaper. But, looking at it in the long term, we save tons of money with bio-degradable straws. Since they’re re-usable, we won’t have to purchase straws even as half as frequently as we purchase plastic straws.

I refuse disposable plastic
Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) movement

Plastics are posing a massive threat that is irreversible. It is a problem that can not overlooked. Many execution of bans in different places and increased awareness about the evils of disposable plastic has led people to start adopting rye and other alternatives to plastic straws and other disposable plastics.

Needless to say, it’s high time for us to do the same. #let’sgogreentogether

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