In many countries, plastic straws are starting to be banned due to their numerous harmful environmental effects. Several alternative innovations have been introduced to the market to minimize plastic pollution. As a result, compostable straws come in as an inevitable and crucial resolution that can offer an eco-friendly alternative but still does the job as well as plastic straws.

Compostable straws have gained popularity in recent years, with a variety of materials and sizes available. This article will cover the five best biodegradable straws highly recommended by consumers, especially Mother Earth.

To begin, let's understand what compostable straws are and why we should invest in them.

What Are Compostable Straws?

A compostable substance is something that will eventually break down to its basic components and mingle back into the soil once given the right conditions. Based on that mechanism, manufacturers try to use compostable materials to invent straws in the hope that they can replace plastic and give back to the earth essential nutrients instead of mountains of landfills.

Some common compostable materials you can easily find on the market include wood, bamboo, sugarcane, wheat, cotton, and coffee grounds, just to name a few. Plant-based materials are probably the most recommended ones since they can break down into carbon dioxide or other natural minerals that blend effortlessly into the earth without leaving any toxins behind.

Several businesses advertise their products as “compostable,” but the material takes years to break down or leaves hazardous chemicals in the environment. Choosing compostable materials and accurately labeling them is essential if you are trying to run a sustainable business.

Why Should You Use Compostable Straw?

The very first and vital mission of compostable straws is to eliminate plastic from our planet, reducing the threat of ocean trash. Plastic straws have a reputation for taking account of around 89% of ocean plastic along with other fellows such as single-use cotton and cigarette buds. Crucially, they are not decomposable. Over time, half of the single-use plastics accumulate in landfills, and the other half gradually take over the ocean. Even some recent studies show that by 2050, more plastic will be in the ocean than fish. Thus, switching to compostable straws has become more urgent than ever to protect our ecosystem and landscape.

In addition, compostable straws won’t release toxic substances. Instead, bacteria can easily digest their chemical structure, returning to the organic matter they came from. Meanwhile, plastics take thousands of years or forever to decompose but still leach chemicals to the environment as they exist. It is believed that plastics are one the primary sources of releasing BPA, or bisphenol A, a chemical that can interfere with the hormones of animals if consumed. 

And more importantly, by adopting compostable straws, businesses are contributing to the movement against climate change and saving the Earth. Throughout the whole lifecycle of plastics, from manufacturing to decomposition, they continuously release harmful chemicals to the environment adding to global warming. Hence, whether choosing to produce or use compostable straws, every business is reducing its carbon footprint in the industry for sustainable development.

5 Best Compostable Straws On The Market

If you’re interested in finding alternatives to plastic straws but still struggle to choose which material is the best, the list below will give you a proper answer. But don’t be too surprised if you can’t find paper straws on the list. Paper straws are no longer the best and only alternative to plastic straws, not to mention their manufacturing impact negatively on the environment. Even worse, they quickly get soggy and can’t do their job as they are supposed to. 

Therefore, the following eco-friendly and compostable straws come in handy and promise much better performance.

Coffee Drinking Straws

Having a cup of coffee every morning, but did you know that coffee grounds can come in use instead of ending up in landfills? That is the beauty of compostable materials - they are familiar and available around us. 

The coffee straws are made from coffee, but you can use them for any kind of drink you want, thanks to their diversity in sizes and fantastic durability. Here are some impressive advantages of coffee straws that make them be the top of this list:

- 100% compostable to the environment in 12 months

- Chemical and plastic-free

- Caffeine-free and tasteless

- Stay in liquids for up to 12 hours and can be reused several times in the same day.

- Safe for both children and adults

    Overall score: 5/5

    Grass Drinking Straws

    grass drinking straws

    Grass straw is another zero-waste alternative to bring back green to our environment. They are made from high-quality sedge grass, handpicked, and crafted with care. 

    These key factors will help you determine whether these grass straws are worth the shot:

    - 100% compostable in only six months

    - Stay in liquids up to 4 hours

    - Fresh tea aroma

      Overall score: 4.7/5

      Sugarcane Drinking Straws

      sugarcane drinking straws

      Sugarcane is the most significant source supplying the world's sugar. In fact, it comes in first place among the world's most produced crops, eclipsing rice and wheat. Leveraging that excellent source, EQUO has introduced sugarcane straws to the beautiful collection of compostable straws with a lovely bright yellow and a naturally speckled pattern.

      The durability of sugarcane has changed the game indeed, which helps eliminate all the doubts that compostable materials are often vulnerable. They're a great alternative to conventional plastic products for parties, restaurants, or in-home needs.

      Other “sweet” factors that make sugarcane straws one of the most popular compostable straws on the market include:

      - Sugar-free and tasteless

      - 100% compostable in 12 months

      - Stay in liquids for up to 24 hours

      - Diversity in size and thickness

      - Chemical and plastic-free

        Overall score: 5/5

        Rice Drinking Straws

        rice drinking straws

        Rice straws are made by mixing rice with tapioca starch in order to make them durable and resilient. Since these straws are edible, they add a whole new experience to enjoying drinks. By using compostable straws, like rice straws, we protect the environment and ensure the safety of our health.

        One drawback of these straws is that they can only stay in liquids for one hour. Hence, it may not be ideal for a long talk, but with quick drinks, it’s way better.

        Some more outstanding points of these eco-friendly straws are:

        - 100% compostable in only three months

        - Chemical and plastic-free

        - Safe for children and adults

          Overall score: 4.5/5

          Wheat Drinking Straws

          wheat straws

          Instead of wasting the leftover wheat stems, manufacturers collect them from farmers’ fields, cut them to drinking straw sizes, and sterilize them with boiling water and a special oven without any chemicals.

          Similar to other compostable straws, wheat straws can break down naturally in 6 weeks in home composts and maybe faster in industrial composting facilities. However, unlike the fellow rice straw, wheat straws are not edible. 

          Here are more advantages of wheat straws that green consumers can’t resist:

          - 100% compostable in a short period

          - No chemical process

          - Tasteless and gluten-free

            Overall score: 5/5

            Switching To Compostable Straws For A Sustainable Future

            It’s better late than never, especially when plastic pollution is peaking at an alarming level. Plastics, especially single-use plastics, have become a mainstream part of our daily lives, and manufacturers are entirely on board with finding better alternatives. As intelligent and modern consumers, we should act upon this assignment and change our habits by simply switching to compostable alternatives. 

            Hopefully, with the five best compostable straws mentioned above, you can pick out your favorite one or try them all so you can make the proper judgment. And don’t forget to introduce those eco-friendly straws to your friends and family so that we can eventually eradicate single-use plastics from our planet in the future.

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