Should we give up using straws completely?


31st August 2023

Paper drinking straws might not be any better for the planet than plastic ones.

That’s what a team of researchers in Belgium say. They tested 20 brands of paper straws from supermarkets and fast food shops and found that 18 of them (90%) contained ‘forever chemicals’ that can linger in the environment for thousands of years.

They make the straws resistant to water, heat and stains, but take a long time to break down and, in very large amounts, have been linked to health problems.

The researchers detected the same chemicals in 80% of the bamboo straws, 75% of the plastic straws and 40% of the glass straws that they tested. Dr Thimo Groffen, from the University of Antwerp, said: “We did not detect any in stainless steel straws, so I would advise consumers to use this type of straw – or just avoid using straws at all.”

The UK has banned the sale of single-use plastic products, like drinking straws, and plant-based versions have become popular instead.

Now we’d like to know what you think!

Should we give up using straws completely?


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