Hi my name is Grant Choi and I am currently a senior at the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, CA. Recently, I was at a local coffee shop with my grandmother who is currently 82 years old. As she was drinking her cold beverage, I noticed she was having a very difficult time and was frustrated with the paper straw. This made me think that there must be a better alternative to the paper straws currently on the market. I have noticed that there has been a large movement from plastic straws. As of January 1, 2019 restaurants in California were banned from giving out plastic straws to customers. Everywhere I go, I have noticed a massive decrease of plastic straws. Unfortunately, the paper replacement isn’t much better. Although it may seem that paper straws are a much better alternative because they are composed of natural products, they actually still take a long time to biodegrade. Also, paper straws take significantly more energy to produce than plastic straws. Another drawback to paper straws is that they tend to melt in drinks making them unusable, and they make your drinks taste awful. Because of this problem, people will use more straws therefore increasing straw usage per person. My goal is to encourage the use of other alternatives to paper straws that will be both biodegradable, environmentally friendly and sturdy.

With my research I have discovered the bamboo straw. Bamboo straws are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and strong enough to not deteriorate. In addition, they are fully compostable, reusable, and the only completely natural straw. This means that they do not contain any additives in its production. Bamboo is in fact eco-friendly and produces 35% more oxygen than trees.

Bamboo straws are a great alternative and I hope the public will become more aware of its benefits. Hopefully store owners will start incorporating bamboo straws in their businesses. This would make both environmentalists and consumers happy.

Grant Choi is a Santa Monica student

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