As reusable and biodegradable straws gain popularity over their single-use plastic counterpart, it can be tricky to find the straw solution that works best for you. What are the different types of straws and how long do they last? Are they actually better for the environment? Will they fall apart upon use? Can you clean them? We’ll cover these questions in our guide and help you differentiate the following types of straws: plastic, sugarcanegrasscoconutricepaper, and bamboo.

How Long Do Plastic Straws Last?

Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose

HOW LONG DO PLASTIC STRAWS LAST IN LIQUID?

Plastic straws never get soggy, but will sometimes break and become unusable. While  plastic straws are built to last, their lengthy lifespan does not justify the single-use nature. Their existence causes severe long-term issues for wildlife and marine life around the world.

How Long Do Sugarcane Straws Last?

 
Biodegradable & Compostable - EQUO’s sugarcane straws only take 6 months in soil to decompose.

HOW LONG DO SUGARCANE STRAWS LAST IN LIQUID?

Sugarcane straws never get soggy, so they last an infinite amount of time in liquids. They also work great for hot drinks and have a light brown sugar-sweet aroma to them.
Learn More About Sugarcane Straws >

How Long Do Dried Grass Straws Last?

 
Biodegradable & Compostable - EQUO’s grass straws take 3 weeks to 1 month in soil to decompose.

HOW LONG DO DRIED GRASS STRAWS LAST IN LIQUID?

Grass straws don’t get soggy; they last an infinite amount of time in liquids, making them also great for hot drinks. Open a box of dried grass straws and discover a light “just rained in nature” scent.
Learn More About Grass Straws >

How Long Do Coconut Straws Last?

 
Biodegradable & Compostable - EQUO’s coconut straws take 45 days to 2 months if buried in soil, or 3-6 months on the top of the soil to decompose.

HOW LONG DO COCONUT STRAWS LAST IN LIQUID?

Coconut straws last about 3-4 hours in liquid before breaking down. They work well with hot drinks, too! While they are made from coconuts, these eco-friendly straws are tasteless and odorless. 
Learn More About Coconut Straws >

How Long Do Rice Straws Last?

 
Biodegradable & Compostable - EQUO’s rice straws only take 3 months to decompose in a moist/wet environment.

HOW LONG DO RICE STRAWS LAST IN LIQUID?

Rice straws last about 3-4 hours in liquid before breaking down. They work well in hot drinks, and are completely edible!
Learn More About Rice Straws > 

How Long Do Paper Straws Last?

Paper straws decompose within 2 to 6 weeks.

HOW LONG DO PAPER STRAWS LAST IN LIQUID?

Paper straws don’t last long in liquids before losing their shape. In 2 hours or less, you can definitely tell that they are beginning to fall apart.

How Long Do Bamboo Straws Last?


Biodegradable - bamboo straws take about 1 year to biodegrade.

HOW LONG DO BAMBOO STRAWS LAST IN LIQUID?

Bamboo straws don’t break down in liquids. They can be used several times over before needing to be replaced. Bamboo straws, however, are difficult to clean, so while they are reusable, they may not be the safest or cleanest choice.

Biodegradable Vs Compostable

What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable? When an item is labeled as biodegradable, it will break down quickly and safely into mostly harmless compounds. When an item is labeled as compostable, it is capable of breaking down into natural elements in a compost environment.
Biodegradable items are:

  • Designed to break down within landfills
  • Anything that is plant-based, animal-based, or natural mineral-based.
  • Totally dependent on the products being exposed to the right amount of moisture and temperature
  • Not all biodegradable material is compostable
  • Biodegradable materials return to nature and can disappear completely, though they sometimes leave behind a metal residue.
  • Oftentimes not accepted by composting facilities because they take too long to break down and/or will not decompose entirely.

Compostable items:

  • Are broken down into their natural elements and cause no harm to the environment.
  • Yield CO2, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate consistent with other compostable materials while leaving no visible, distinguishable, or toxic residue.
  • Will break down easily despite external environmental factors.

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