Compostable Straws are Great, but They’re No Zero Waste.

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Before compostable straws, paper cocktail straws were popular. As, paper straws have some flaws, so the biodegradable and compostable straws capture the market. 

Well, to understand the environmental impacts of compostable straws, first you need to understand the difference between these two. Those words are often used interchangeably. Both are eco straw, but there is a subtle difference between these two.

The Difference between Biodegradable and Compostable straws

Living organisms like bacteria decompose biodegradable straws, but compostable straws are used as compost when it decays.

However, many restaurants are using compostable straws because these are environment friendly. Indeed, these are eco-friendly, but compostable straws have several negative impacts on our environment. 

The compostable plastic straws take a lot of time (approx 20 years) to break down, and these are harmful. These only break down after putting in the green bins. But green bin technology is not available in all places, so it takes a lot of time to degrade.

Knowing the Reality: These are No Zero Waste

For example, you use a compostable straw for once and throw in into the bin. Yes, you have done your job by throwing it into the right place. But the garbage bin is not ‘right’ because compostable straws take many years to break and compost. Thus, you unknowingly harm the environment.

The Center for Environment Health waves concern about compostable products. These may increase the risk factors of thyroid disruption and cancers. The problem is the pollutants block the river, ponds and harm aquatic animals.

Throwing compostable straws into landfill hampers the purpose of creating it. These plastics need moisture, air, and sunlight to break down into molecules, but landfills entomb the waste and deprive it of the necessary elements. Moreover, these bio-based plastics are not free from harmful chemicals like cadmium, lead, phthalates.

Blue, Black and Green Bins Model

It is essential to learn about the model. Blue is for cans and bottles; black is for landfills garbage, and green is for compost materials. So whenever you use any of these products, make sure the wastage goes to the right bins; otherwise, the purpose will be defeated.

The Positive Side

The compostable straws are made of bio-based products and create smaller carbon footprints. They may come from plants like potatoes and corn. Secondly, if we have the proper technology and if we adopt the adequate system, then these compostable materials would not harm the environment.


Here we have learned the severe adverse effects of compostable straws. However, it sounds exciting and eco friendly, but many of us do not know the harmful effects of it. 

After the plastic banning movement, many restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars in the USA, UK and India avoid plastics and use compostable straws and biodegradable products.
Related More Topics: Who Invented Bulk Paper Custom Straws?

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