Unfortunately, while plastic straws are a problem, there is something that causes more issues. I am talking of fishing equipment. People have counted, and found that 46% of the Pacific garbage patch is made of discarded fishing equipment such as nets.
Fishing is an important source of protein for much of the human race, but if it’s to remain sustainable we need to remove the equipment left behind. Having said that, drinking straws should quickly be able to become a historical part of the problem if biodegradable straws are taken up quickly.
Replacing plastic straws with biodegradable alternatives has two positive effects. The current attempts to make a biodegradable straw are being led by small businesses and therefore given that it will be a slightly more man intensive process is likely to create good employment prospects in various areas. The other is the more obvious one that straws makeup part of the waste plastic floating around in the oceans. While this is a small portion due to its sharp shape on occasions it can do more damage than other pieces.
The biggest impact will be felt when fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King are persuaded by their customers that plastic straws and drink stops are unacceptable.