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From plastic straws to paper straws

 

 

Neither one nor two plastic straws can be considered a problem for the environment.

But what about 1 million straws? And 100 million? And 1,000 million?

What if it’s 5.000 million plastic straws?

Or 36,000 million?

 

Well then, perhaps as the astronaut said:

 

Houston, we have a problem

 

An outrageous 13 million straws a day

 

Because in reality, although the quantities seem almost impossible to us, there are almost 5 billion plastic straws that are used and thrown away every year in Spain (13 million a day!).

And around 36,000 million annually are spent in Europe.

A lot, an enormous and absolutely useless expense for all those who do not really need straws to eat food.

And the figures are overwhelming:

Only 30% of EU plastic waste (including straws) is collected for recycling. And, on many occasions, non-recycled plastic ends up in the sea and on the beaches.

 

The “Great Ban” arrives

 

For this reason, the European Union approved a directive that, from 2021, totally prohibits single-use plastics, such as plates, cutlery, ear buds, fast food boxes and straws, of course.

Then, with the banning of disposable plastic utensils, including plastic straws, the manufacture and use of “green” paper straws skyrocketed.

We all thanked each other and congratulated ourselves on the great progress we had made: now, using the paper straws we were already able to go “green” and remove a great deal of weight from our consciousness.

 

Are paper straws the solution?

 

But are paper straws really a good environmental solution?

Let’s make a “projection”:

 

 

Neither one nor two PAPER STRAWS can be considered a problem for the environment.

But what about 1 million straws? And 100 million? And 1,000 million?

What if it’s 5.000 million plastic straws?

Or 36,000 million?

 

 

Well, then, if we prohibit plastic and we go for paper, as the philosopher said:

 

Planet, we have a new problem.

 

Because the solution to the crazy and meaningless consumption of plastic is not the crazy and meaningless consumption of paper.

Because to produce “paper” we need raw materials, it is inevitable to cut trees, deforest large areas, consume water and invest huge amounts of energy resources and, on top of that, after their use and composition, many paper straws are not even going to be compostable or recyclable and, even less, “ecological”.

Do we really need to consume disposable straws?