Plastic straws are on their way out, but people don’t necessarily love paper straws either. Not only do they get soggy in minutes, but in addition, paper isn’t such a great material considering it requires cutting down trees and it doesn’t degrade much faster than plastic.
Thankfully, bars in Italy are using an even better solution to the problem – pasta straws!
Not just any kind of pasta will do. You need bucatini pasta, which is tubular in shape and perfectly resembles a straw.
The trend started to go viral after reddit user u/GranFabio shared a picture of his drink with a pasta straw at a bar in Italy. The post has since earned over 77 thousand upvotes.
It might be the first time you are hearing about pasta straws, but it’s actually been a thing for a minute now.
UK-based company Stroodles has been in business for over a year selling pasta straws. The company was founded by Maxim Gelmann.
Gelmann believed there was a better way to enjoy a yummy smoothie, soda or cocktail and it didn’t involve a soggy paper straw or a plastic straw that takes hundreds of years to biodegrade.
Gelmann, who goes by Mr. Stroodle, is on a mission to “combat poor consumer decisions of paper and bioplastic-straws with a solution to ensure the natural world doesn’t become a dumping ground.”
Stroodles last up to 1 hour in a cold beverage – even longer in a really cold beverage. Using a Stroodle in a hot beverage will obviously lead to a limp noodle, but it will last long enough to be used for a good stir and a few sips.
“Stroodles is not just a straw company and there is a much bigger picture, as I feel I can leave a long-term impact by creating a ripple effect by triggering many small changes all across the world, especially among people that are less conscious of sustainability and their respective actions and behaviors,” Maxum explained.
“Thus, Stroodles is rather a movement and an educational company and a gateway to more sustainable behaviors and thinking and the straw is just our first channel (of communication) in our mission to fight plastic waste,” Maxum continued.
Plastic straws are a major source of pollution – they take 200 years to break down. That means every straw you’ve ever used throughout your lifetime is going to outlive you by some 100+ years.
Even scarier? Americans toss out over 500 million straws every single day. In the UK, 8.5 billion plastic straws are tossed in the trash each year.
By some estimates, billions of plastic straws end up in landfills every single day. A large percentage also end up in our oceans where they harm marine life.
One 2017 study estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws are littering the world’s beaches.
The idea that plastic straws have to go is catching. So much so…
Starbucks plans to eliminate all plastic drinking straws by 2020.
In July 2018, Seattle become the largest US city to ban plastic straws.
And, McDonald’s has started testing alternatives to plastic straws in certain US restaurants.
Paper straws have been offered as a soggy solution but are they really any better? Not so much.
Paper straws are not biodegradable or recyclable, and they don’t degrade much faster than their plastic counterparts.
Plus, they use even more energy to produce than plastic straws. So, while it is important to get rid of plastic straws, paper straws are far from the replacement solution our Planet needs.
Pasta straws to the rescue…
Interestingly enough, paper straws were what we used before turning to plastic.
Plastic straws originated in 1888, when a man named Marvin Stone was using a straw made of natural rye grass to sip a mint julep on a hot summer day. The straw ended up disintegrating into his drink, which gave him the idea to create a paper straw.
He filed the first patent for a drinking straw and by the year 1980, his company was producing more straws than cigarette holders.
Fast forward to post-WWII, when plastic goods were being mass-produced, and the paper straw become a plastic straw. By the 1960s, corporations were manufacturing plastic straws at shocking rates.
Cheers to pasta straws – not only is pasta one of my favorite foods, I think it’s here to help save our Planet from destruction!