Paper straws use significantly more energy, release much more greenhouse gases in production, and use more resources to manufacture. They cost anywhere between 5-10 times more to make. They aren’t necessarily biodegradable unless composted and still take about half a year to biodegrade in an environment that allows for it (whereas most throw them out in the garbage still) and they aren’t recyclable with any food product on them.
What’s the point of this article? Well, anyone who’s virtue signaling that they use paper straws to help the environment should realize they are promoting something that is worse for the environment and maybe only slightly better for animals aside from speeding up global warming. Not to mention that plastic straws only make up 0.03% of plastic waste products and fishing equipment accounts for 46%. It’s also harmful to the handicap and disabled community which we will cover soon.
If you really care about the environment there are 4 things you can do and or advocate for. Stop using straws period and drink out of the cup directly, use a re-usable straw, advocate for coffee lids to be the standard and have plastic straws only for handicapped people, and the last and most effective thing for actually helping the environment would be to push for better fishing equipment waste regulation so you can actually make a real impact.
Plus if you drink beer and get those 6 ring plastic beer can holders when you buy beer, a fun little game you can play with your drinking buddies is everybody puts their hand in one ring and pulls away at the count of 3 and the last person with the ring on their hand loses. The key here is no animal would then get caught in one of the rings.
Also, keep in mind that plastic straws are the only straws that don’t break your teeth when bitten, are hypoallergenic, sterile, and have no issue drinking hot liquids with. Many of those might not be super concerning until you again consider the handicapped community and how important this is.
Thus, advocating for only paper or metal straws is ableist and fake environmental virtue signaling. Educate yourself and others so you aren’t blindly advocating for something that only worsens the problem and creates new problems.