Plastic has its benefits. It's budget and time efficient. The only problem with it is it’s not very economically efficient. Plastic straws help contribute to the issues we have involving plastic endangering marine life, and coating our earth in garbage. Fortunately there are ways we can help the environment simply by using a different straw! Rice straws are a great alternative. They are cute, safe, and most importantly environmentally friendly.
There are paper straws as well, but they are unideal. The problem with paper straws is having to cut down trees to make the straws, so the more paper straws you use the more trees you have to cut down. Most paper straws are not even recyclable. The rice straws aren’t causing any harm to the environment, and they are what a lot of stores are preferring when they decide to leave behind the plastic straw. Rice straws have two main ingredients, flour and tapioca starch. There are no chemicals in rice straws and they are all natural ingredients. The rice flour is also gluten free and the shapeliness and sturdiness of the straw comes from the tapioca.
Of course you can’t have rice straws without rice. The color comes from things like carrots and spinach which are used to add flavor to the straws as well. Another way rice straws differ from plastic straws is because of how they are made. There is a lot less machinery and packaging going on behind the scenes with rice straws.
The straws are straightened all with one machine, called the pipe tractor. The pipe tractor straightens straws up to four meters long and it’s the workers' jobs to cut them and finish the rest of the process. Which includes hanging them to dry and packaging them.
The packaging the straws use is cardboard, and their shelf life is three years. Preserving them is easy, so don’t be nervous about them going bad. The only difference is in a drink or water a rice straw can only last 1 hour and 30 minutes. The upside is they are biodegradable, leave zero waste behind, and provide a long shelf life. There’s also a little bit of extra flavor with all of your drinks which makes it that much more fun to use a rice straw.
Unlike other economically friendly options like the metal straw or bamboo straw, which come with a small brush to help wash them. With the rice straw a special brush isn’t needed. There is no clean-up, even when you drink something as sticky as a milkshake. Unlike other straws the rice straw requires no clean up. When you need to use another straw instead of dirtying your hands cleaning a straw, you simply take another straw out of the package. Not to mention, if you accidentally take a bite of your straw. It’s not metal so it won’t hurt your teeth and it’s edible!
In fact, most companies that make rice straws now say they can double as a snack. In case you don’t feel like eating it you can just give it to your pet. Rice straws are completely safe not only for the environment but for animals as well. If you finish your drink and don’t want to eat it or give it to your pet, you can throw it away without feeling any guilt or doing any harm to the environment. It will decompose, and you’ll forget the straw was ever there. As compared to a plastic straw which isn’t disposed of as easily. Plastic can take up to two hundred years to decompose, but it only takes one hundred days at the most for a rice straw to decompose.
Another plus to the rice straw is how little sugar it has. Especially if you’re an avid soda or coffee drinker who is trying to lose weight, or maintain your weight. One thing many health conscious people know is that a few grams of sugar can make a huge difference. There is no guilt when you eat it as a snack, and while some of the flavored straws may contain very small amounts of sugar you can opt for an unflavored straw. Whichever sugar level you pick you’ll be satisfied with the outcome.
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