There are very few places in the world that have not heard of or used a straw in some way. From the early Sumerians drinking beer in 3000 BCE to the modern fast food chain around the corner, this handy implement has been a fixture in beverages for millennia. The first commercial drinking straws came about to help people better enjoy the popular beverage mint julep in the 1800s. While rye straws were used, they had the tendency to turn into mush and add an unappealing grassy flavor over time. An inventor named Marvin C. Stone fashioned a paper drinking straw to help overcome this problem. These first paper straws were patented and sold from the late 1880s through to the 1970s. Soon after that, plastic straws replaced their paper cousins and it has been a disaster for the environment ever since.
Although plastic has been popular with fans of Crazy Straws, it has not been so good for the environment. Since their surge in popularity, plastic drinking straws have come to account for ten percent of all ocean debris found. This easily places drinking straws among the top ten most common forms of marine debris.
Plastic straws are made of some of the same by-products that you would find in gasoline. This means that the straws, like any other plastic product, go straight into a landfill or the ocean to sit for an eternity. Not only is the pollution unattractive, but it also harmful to ocean life. In 2012, a team of researchers began studying endangered sea turtles worldwide. They wanted to learn about what they were eating and how they were living. One way to do that is to study the bodies of deceased sea turtles to find out what is inside their stomachs. Fifty percent of these endangered animals had plastic drinking straws in their stomach. Twenty-five percent had plastic drinking straws in their nose, throat, or mouth. If you have ever swallowed a potato chip incorrectly, you can only imagine how painful it must be to go through life with a straw stuck sideways in your throat. The straws do not always kill the turtles, but it does make it harder for them to eat, breathe, and ultimately, live.
However, there is a company that has now decided to do something about this problem. Aardvark Straws has taken the initiative by bringing back the classic paper straw. They have produced a line of paper straws that are biodegradable and completely compostable. The straws are also available in a variety of colors and patterns. We use plastic drinking straws every day, all over the world. If we could replace them with the paper straw alternative, we would drastically reduce the amount of pollution in the oceans. This would help marine life all over the globe, especially the turtles!
Aardvark Straws are essentially doing the same thing for straws that the soap dispenser did for plastic soap bottles. This is a company that has taken a great idea for the world and made it happen. Aardvark Straws is a company that takes responsibility for what is going on in the world and makes necessary changes that are easy for everyone to implement in their daily lives.