So what's the point of straws anyway?


Transcript of So what's the point of straws anyway?

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We’ve all seen straws. You get 2 or 3 with every visit to the drivethrough. Pick one up with a latte to stir in your sugar, and sometimes you get a nice bendy and bright one inside a cereal box. The other day, I went to go see a movie-I bought a large Diet Coke® for $4.99 and grabbed a giant straw to accompany it. My clumsy self ended up ended up dropping the straw, and my cousin immediately went and grabbed a new one.What a waste. I hadn’t even opened it. So I protested: “Why do we have to throw it? It wasn’t even used!” but my cousin had a point: I was going to be putting plastic into my mouth, the �oor of a public theater can’t be expected to be hygenic - it wasn’t wise to pick up o� the �oor and eat. So I realized-as much of a waste as they may be, straws have become an integral part of our ideated society. We cannot be without straws. Not yet anyway. But there is one thing we can do without:

What the hell is the point of those? They serve abso-lutely no purpose. Primarily unrecyled paper thrown around creating the opportunity to litter. Manufac-tured too close to thermoplastic polypropelene and contaminated plastic resin to hold any real sanitary value. They seem to be a pure commercial system (the industry would su�er a percentage if we suddenly discontinued manufacturing straw sleeves). Wouldn’t it be incredible however, to �nd a solution in between discontinuation and wastage. And so I began thinking about nature. We have so many examples of di�erent biological nutrient systems in nature that protect their inner cores. The skin of a banana, a corn hyde, shells on pistachio’s, an ants extoskeleton and so many more examples exist of protective outer crusts that are easily reintroduced into nature as biological compost or upcycled simply.


In 1978, the Department of Agriculture developed a ‘green banana’ which consisted of a biodegradable banana peel. All banana’s grown after 1981 have been genetically altered to be biodegradable using a lack of a compound of amino acid. Banana peels contain total dietary �ber; protein; polyunsatu-rated fatty acids, especially as linoleic and a-linoleic acids; and amino acids in the form of leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, and valine. The most signi�cant mineral is potas-sium. The more mature the banana, the more the peel will contain soluble sugar and the less it will have of starch. Unlike citrus fruits-the banana peel is entirely biodgeradable.

Using a potassium/Vitamin B compound is the simplest way to develop straw sleeves that can contribute to society as a biological nutrient systems. Through top secret experiments done in the 70s and 80s (and recently revealed) we now know that scientists have the capability to make an unedibal compound with the genetic makeup of a banana biodegrad-able. If we are able to mimic the makeup of this product into disposable sleeves, instead of paper sleeves going to waste-we could just drop them into our gardens. The initial start-up cost for this would be high, and may result in a lack of use of straws...but that might just be a good thing.

moving away from paper

lose oxygen gen-erated from trees

less matter to eat up carbon we emit

if trees are gone

chemical com-pounds for break-

ing down wood �ber is dangerous

and gets in our water

large carbon footprint to ship paper in trucks

giving people the option to recycle

is subjective. if something is

biodegradable, it would contribute even if thrown on

the street