Are biodegradable plastic straws a better alternative to paper straws?

“I love saving the environment and helping turtles but paper straws? Na fam, do better,” said social media user Justin Heunis. File Picture: AP Photo/Barbara Woike. Cape Town – A viral video last year caused a massive drinking straw debate and resulted in global companies ditching plastic straws. The YouTube video, Straw in Turtle’s Nose, was filmed by Christine Figgener, a marine biologist at Texas A&M University, in 2015. The footage, and many others like it, was a stark reminder of the detrimental effects plastic pollution has on the oceans, and had people calling for better alternatives in order to save the turtles and seas. Fast food company Famous Brands also came out saying that plastic straws will be removed and replaced in all its stores across South Africa and the UK by December 2018. Its restaurants will now use paper straws. The group’s brands portfolio comprises 25 restaurant brands – including Steers, Wimpy, Debonairs, Mugg & Bean among others – represented by a network of 2874 restaurants across South Africa, the rest of Africa, the Middle East and the UK. Food Lover’s Market also came out and renounced plastic straws. While these companies, and many others, have taken […]

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