Are Paper Straws Valid?

By Ashley Nguyen

February 9, 2022

SAN JOSE, CALIF.–Word around the street is , paper straws SUCK. I’ve had my own personal vendetta against paper straws myself. Friends and family find it incomparable to the experience of a regular plastic straw. But, is the inconvenience of paper straws too tough to not consider its negative environmental impact? My thoughts are no. 

The reason behind using paper straws is that it’s easier to break down and disintegrate. . So, if it were to be littered and found its place in the ocean, there is less of a chance that it would harm marine animals. 

Canada’s National Observer says that plastic straws act as their own carbon emissions. What are carbon emissions? Greenhouse carbon emissions are mainly carbon dioxide that pollute the air and contribute to global warming. To visualize its impact, the average airline passenger emits about 25 grams of carbon dioxide, which is a fistful of 50 plastic straws worth, every second. Angela Self explains in an article in “The Justice” called “Is eliminating plastic straws really the answer to climate change?” that the act of restaurants and stores switching to reusable straws is a statement to the world that even the tiny acts of your daily life contribute to the warming of the planet. 

Every year, we see the effects of climate change on our planet that plastic, in general, contributes  heavily. 2022 will reportedly be the warmest year yet. And in 2021, it was estimated that it was about 1.11 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, making it the 7th year in a row that the global temperature rose over 1 degree Celsius. 

Personally, using a paper straw for my soda did leave a fuzzy taste in my mouth, at first. Whenever I’m hastily trying to chug down some water with a paper straw, the moisture of the liquid starts to make the straw fold and it becomes harder and harder to drink anything out of it. However, seeing the efforts of environmentalists and people around the world coming together to reduce the carbon footprint, encourages me not to complain. The warming of our planet is something to be extremely concerned about. Those little changes in our daily life can alone change the course of climate change. It cannot completely reverse it, but it can definitely put our foot in the right direction. 

An anonymous student at Silver Creek High School says, “I don’t like paper straws because they taste funny and they get soggy so fast. I prefer biodegradable plastic straws. I think once we develop more sturdy paper straws, I’m down.” 

Pictured is the word “Trash” in the sand made from straws found on the beach. 
By: MaxPixel’s contributors 

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