Who would have thought that a simple plastic straw would become an object of such controversy? In a world where there are so many issues that need to be addressed, somehow, we have all fixated on something seemingly easy to cut back on. But is it that easy?

Many people need to use a straw. Many others simply enjoy drinking through a straw. We have been taught that it is better for our teeth to drink tea through a straw to avoid staining. I taught my kids to drink through a straw very early so that they could use regular cups with lids when we went out to dinner.

Now, these very straws have become controversial. I know that when I sit down at an eating establishment and they bring me my iced tea with a cardboard straw, I cringe. It tastes funny. It is going to be mushy in about 10 minutes. It brings back memories of elementary school cafeterias when I had to drink milk out of a cardboard carton.

How did we get here? It seemed to begin with a video that went viral, featuring a sea turtle with a straw in its nose. This was not something that anyone wanted to see, for sure. I do not wish harm to any creature of the sea, for certain, but I would like to sip as I wish without guilt. So, after doing a bit of research, I came up with the following information:

Only a tiny portion of plastic straws end up in the ocean. The trash in the US goes primarily into landfills.
A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Environment Science and Technology found that 90% of the debris found in the worlds’ oceans comes from 10 of the world’s rivers, none of which are in the Western Hemisphere.

All of this said we at Lovebeans want to do our part to conserve natural resources and avoid excess waste. To that end, we offer you, the customer, the option to drink as you see fit. When you come to our coffeehouse, feel free to choose a cardboard straw from the condiment cart. If you’d prefer, don’t use a straw at all. In a couple of weeks, we will have another option, a compostable straw that looks and feels like plastic, but is made from 100% renewable resources and is biodegradable and compostable.

We look forward to seeing you at Lovebeans soon!

  1. JP O'Grady Canary Gold 4:56