SINGLE-USE PLASTIC IS A GLOBAL PROBLEM.
Humankind is up to its neck in refuse. Billions of pieces of plastic are floating in our seas and oceans – and disposable plastic straws are one of the causes.
For a long time now, fish have not been the only thing swimming in our seas in countless numbers. A very particular species has been multiplying for years: common plastic waste. Drinking straws are among the most frequently occurring form of waste found in the sea, with a staggering 36.4 billion currently tumbling about in our waters along with single-use plastic bottles, packaging and cups. This waste is causing long-term ocean pollution, the consequences of which are difficult to predict.
The WWF estimates that a total of 12.7 million tonnes of plastic particles make their way into the ocean every year.
That is the equivalent of one full truckload per minute.
WE ARE WAGING WAR ON NATURE!
Every day, billions of used plastic drinking straws are discarded heedlessly all over the world. One consequence: we are drowning in waste.
Environmental issues are on everyone’s lips. And so are plastic drinking straws. They are practical, cheap and can be thrown away as soon as you have finished the drink you were using them for. Studies show that consumption of straws per capita is huge in many countries. In just one day, around 600 million plastic drinking straws are used in the EU and the USA. Producing infinite waste...
600 million plastic drinking straws per day make 219 billion per year: If placed end to end, these would reach around the earth 200 times.
PLASTIC TAKES A LONG TIME TO BREAK DOWN!
To be precise, it takes up to 5 centuries That means that after just 5 minutes of enjoying a drink with a single-use straw, you quickly create waste that lasts for 450 years.
“We’re living on the plasti-scene”, comments Nils Guse of the Research and Technology Centre, West Coast, based in Büsum, Germany, speaking about the huge quantities of plastic waste in the sea. Here, it poses a danger to marine life and humans alike. This is because the slow breakdown of plastic waste can take centuries. Even bioplastic is not completely biodegradable, as the German Environment Agency itself has confirmed.* Zeit, Artikel „Im Plastik gefangen“, (www.zeit.de)
** UBA Umweltbundesamt, Meldung „Tüten aus Bioplastik sind keine Alternative“, (www.umweltbundesamt.de)
WANTED: THE BEST DRINKING STRAW IN THE WORLD
A new, smart drinking straw must do more than just be cheap and colourful. It must change our mindset.
The question: Is it possible to design a sustainable version of the popular drinking straw? In order to find a solution, we first took a look at the alternatives that are already out there. There are actually quite a few. These can be divided roughly into two large groups: disposable and reusable.
Disposable drinking straws
Let’s start with alternative disposable drinking straws. Whether a disposable drinking straw is made from paper, pasta dough or straw, its production always entails wasting valuable raw ingredients and energy. For example, trees are felled to produce paper straws, while grains are used for purposes other than their normal purpose to produce pasta straws. In addition, these alternatives regularly produce masses of waste. So single use is no use!
Reusable drinking straws
Reusable drinking straws are considerably more practical. They can be made from glass, steel or even bamboo. They can be used multiple times, conserving resources and preventing unnecessary waste. However, all conventional reusable drinking straws have one problem: They cannot be cleaned hygienically and without residue. Although many come with little brushes, these do not guarantee a thorough cleaning.
The solution: Reusable + thorough cleaning without residue thanks to the SLIDERSTRAW principle. This allows for a hygenically clean drinking pleasure, again and again.