Feb 23rd, 24

0 min read

Not-Paper Straws: 7 Best Biodegradable Straws For Our Environment

By Anh Ha

best biodegradable straws not paper

We are slowly cutting off the habit of using plastic straws and accepting the new, biodegradable alternatives that are available. Due to the high demand for eco-friendly products, there has consequently been an influx of paper straw manufacturers joining the scene, without presenting their consumers with facts. We are going to share the facts behind what really makes a straw labeled ‘biodegradable’ just that, and uncover that some paper straws aren’t as eco-friendly as you may think. Let us delve deeper and explain why, but don’t fear! We will also share some of the not-paper biodegradable straws that can slow the environmental damage caused by plastic.

Are Paper Straws Biodegradable?

Amongst the rejection of single-use plastic, we find it is a common but understandable misconception that paper straws are the best alternative to plastic straws. Let's challenge this sustainability myth! 

Paper straws are indeed made of paper, but many manufacturers add a wax or film coating on them to prevent the straw from becoming soggy. Although the plastic coating will prevent this sogginess, it eliminates the ability of the straw to be composted. As it slowly breaks down into smaller pieces, we are left with dangerous microplastics that are harmful to the user and the environment. 

The sustainability and eco-friendliness of paper straws purely depend on whether they are created solely from paper.

If you are looking for 100% biodegradable paper straws without waxing or film coatings, enter ‘uncoated’ or ‘unwaxed’ to your product search, instead of strictly ‘biodegradable’.

biodegradable paper straws

Are Paper Straws Really Better for the Environment?

There is a common belief that paper straws are entirely environmentally friendly, although this is not always the case. In particular, our delicate ecosystem is at risk of the greenhouse gas emissions that subsequently follow the high-energy manufacturing process of paper straws. Alongside this, we can observe the expansive destruction of lush forest areas that used to be rich with trees. The harvesting of trees during the paper straw production process accelerates the rate of deforestation, releasing increased levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Due to being a single-use product and requiring high energy levels in production,  paper straws have the same carbon footprint as plastic straws. 

We should encourage ourselves to incorporate items that can be quickly compostable into our daily lives and cast aside paper or plastic products to pave the way toward a sustainable future, one where we have the ability to purchase natural alternatives- ‘not-paper’ biodegradable straws.

are paper straws bad for the environment

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Different Types of Plant-Based Biodegradable Straws Not Paper

Grass Straws

Move aside paper straws, let us introduce you to another eco-friendly, chemical-free solution to getting started with your conscious lifestyle. Grass straws entered the beverage industry with an impactful and positive bang! 

With clean, natural raw materials, production is completed without any harmful chemicals so these EQUO Vietnam grass straws can quickly decompose without leaking toxic substances. These disposable yet sturdy and durable straws will be an excellent pairing with your hot or cold drink of choice. With no chemicals added in production, consumers can appreciate the striking green coloring without guilt and notice the smooth, subtle scent of fresh tea as the grass straw meets their lips.

EQUO grass straws - Plant-based biodegradable straws 

>> Read More: What Are Grass Straws? Why You Should Use Grass Straws | EQUO

Rice Straws

For those still looking to find the perfect compostable straws replacement, look no further than these biodegradable rice straws. Free from plastic substances and chemicals, this revolutionary material is made out of rice and tapioca, so it remains ecosystem friendly all through till decomposition in landfills. 

Rice straws can be used in a variety of drinks and temperatures in all situations. You can carry it with you to parties, dinners, brunch, or even keep it handy in your own kitchen cupboard. These plant-based compostable straws can stay in your drink for at least an hour.

EQUO rice straws can be recognized for their vibrant, additive-free coloring. With ingredients like fruit and vegetable juice to create these catchy hues, you can rest assured they will not harm your health. 

These natural straws not only have a purpose for us humans, but also for the soil and animals that will benefit from the long-term effects of the decomposition of this product. Children and adults alike can enjoy this product, and if you’re feeling peckish, surprise your friends and consider cooking your washed EQUO rice straws to include in any rice-based dishes!  Time to savor this multi-functional straw!

biodegradable rice straws

Sugarcane Straws

Indulgent, aromatic and sweet, EQUO sugarcane straws stand out from the crowd with their subtle pale brown color and soothing brown sugar scent, tending to your sweet tooth as you notice its flavor as you sip through the straw.  

Biodegradable sugarcane straws are a byproduct of sugar processing, extracting sugar bagasse which serves as a safe and natural primary ingredient, making these ideal for both adults and children alike! The flexible yet enduring nature of these sugarcane straws creates a durable, withstanding the hottest of coffees or the icy coldness of a fresh fruit juice. 

EQUO sugarcane straws - best biodegradable straws not paper

Coffee Straws

With so many incredible alternatives on offer, why not try a fragrant and unique straw created from coffee grounds? EQUO coffee straws can be exactly what the caffeine-lover in your life needs! Not only are these biodegradable straws eco-friendly, but they also add a delicate hint of taste and scent when placed in your drink of choice.  The deep, rich brown color and the speckled pattern are sure to impress. 

EQUO coffee straws are ultimately superior in the never-ending race to become the best biodegradable straws. Incomparable to the short-lived shelf life of paper straws, these remain durable whether stored safely in a cupboard or inside a frappuccino. With proper care, the coffee straw can be reused multiple times in a day, confirming it as a strong contender for the best not-paper biodegradable straws! 

Coffee straws - biodegradable straws not paper

Coconut Straws

Change the clock to island time, as you close your eyes and imagine swaying palm trees, ethereal blue water, and sand between your toes, be taken away to the tropics with coconut straws

Coconut straws are one of the more recent plant-based breakthroughs in the quest to be more eco-friendly. Produced by various heat and steaming stages of fermented coconut water, they are also preservative and additive free. Mimicking a white sandy beach, the pure ivory-white color compliments the relaxed patterns, creating an aesthetically pleasing coconut straw. 

These plasticless straws can be used for hours on end without wilting or losing shape, something paper straws cannot avoid. They are also vegan, and despite being made from coconut water do not contain flavors or aromas to alter the taste of your drink. Cheers to that!

Coconut Straws - Best biodegradable straws not paper

Bamboo Straws

Pandas shouldn’t be the only ones that can appreciate the versatile plant that is bamboo, it’s time we joined in on the fun! Bamboo straws are another alternative to plastic or paper drinking straws. Cultivated responsibly from one of the most sustainable plants in the world, we can assure these bamboo straws can add to the preservation of the natural environment. Made from entirely natural materials, these environmentally friendly straws will not contribute to the detrimental side effects of single-use paper or plastic use, keeping the soil, oceans, and habitats safe for all animals as well as your own health.

A few factors to understand before purchasing these sustainable straws is that due to the fibrous nature of the material, it may stain easily and require diligent cleaning. They unfortunately also have a noticeable odor on their own, so consider these facts before making your decision.

Bamboo straws - best biodegradable straws not paper

Wheat Straws

When left with the agricultural waste of wheat harvesting production, Wheat straws were innovated! Recycling this renewable resource lends these wheat compostable drinking straws to be extremely compostable and will return to the Earth’s soil without harm once disposed of. Although this quick decomposition is a game-changer for sustainable-minded people, in turn, the high temperatures of hot drinks may accelerate this process, resulting in a controversial taste some may dislike. Ultimately it is up to you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons when contemplating non-paper straws.

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Wheat straws - biodegradable straws not paper

As we have uncovered, the complete sustainability of paper straws is a myth. To decide if they are environmentally friendly there are multiple factors to consider, remembering paper straws are only biodegradable if made solely with paper or natural ingredients to coat the straw for effectiveness, avoiding a plastic layer. Undoubtedly, the impressive seven best biodegradable not-paper straws listed will act as a reliable and impactful reference for your next not-paper straw purchase, allowing you to continue living your conscious and self-aware lifestyle without compromises!

EQUO strongly advocates products that are sustainable and made from natural eco-friendly ingredients. Now more than ever, we have extensive options to choose a plastic-free product. It is crucial for the preservation of our planet, and the small steps and choices you make will bring us one step closer. Don’t wait! Explore EQUO sustainable collections to find your favorite ones today!  

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