Bamboo Pipes – As a Substitute to Plastic Straw

ARTICLE / Inventure:

Background:

India has a commitment to Beat Plastic Pollution, with an announcement to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022. According to a study conducted around the world by the United Nations, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, and every year we use up to 5 trillion disposable plastic bags. In total, 50 per cent of plastic we use is single use. The study also reveals that, In India, around 87 per cent people are concerned about the ill-effect of these non-recyclable plastic wastes. Recently, Indian Government has also announced to ban single-use plastics including straws and spoons etc. in 129 airports to begin with the initiatives towards “beat plastic pollution”.

The plastic straw adversely affects aquatic animals also as it easily travel with water and ends up in the ponds, rivers and oceans. Every year, up to 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into our oceansand smother coral reefs and threaten vulnerable marine wildlife.

The simplest change we can make is to stop using plastic straws, but cutting straws from our life entirely is easier said than done. Bamboo made ecofriendly straws offer a great alternative by transforming a single-use harmful product into a completely eco-friendly and sustainable option. These bamboo pipes make a great natural alternative to the traditional plastic straws.Bamboo pipes are biodegradable so one can put them in the garden or compost once they reach the end of their life.

Harmful Effects of Plastic Straw:

Plastic Straws can't be easily recycled, do not biodegrade, and never fully degrade. Straws are littered very often, and harm Ocean Wildlife, because of their small size; aquatic animals can confuse bits of plastic for food and choke on them. Straws are difficult to recycle because they are so light and small that they drop out of sorting machines and mix with other materials.

 

Few Hazardous Facts & Figures –

  • It is estimated that 8% of the world oil production is used to manufacture plastics.
  • Straws are one of the top 10 pieces of garbage polluting the ocean. In fact, a turtle was once found with over 1,000 pieces of plastic in its stomach.
  • If plastic use will not stop then, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
  • It is estimated that more than one million sea birds, 100,000 marine mammals and countless fish are killed by plastic pollution each year.
  • Most straws are not recycled. Plastic straws are plastic #5, which most municipalities do not recycle.

 

Straws create pollution at every stage of their existence, from oil drilling, manufacturing, shipping, and distribution. The plastic breaks down into more harmful pieces that lasts 100’s of years. Plastic straws are being made with materials that are potentially toxic or carcinogenic which are not good for animal human health and ecosystem as they can remain in the environment for over 2,000 years.

Bamboo Pipes as an alternate to Plastic Straw:

From a health point of view, for the consumer it is a lot better to use bamboo pipes because they are completely natural and organic. Bamboo is actually a naturally bacteria free material whereas when we use a plastic straw we end up consuming some of the chemical toxins, which has negative impacts on our health. From an environmental stance, bamboo is a best alternative among a few like paper made straw. Bamboo pipes don’t require any high-energy processes to make and they are completely biodegradable. A plastic straw, on the other hand, consumes energy, pollutes with toxic gases and takes 200 years to break down into small pieces which never completely disappear. Bamboo pipes are eco-friendly alternative to acrylic drinking.

Advantages of using Bamboo Pipes:

The lateral thin culms emerging besides main culms under Muli bamboo plantation/natural patches have been identified as a potential source of this eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws. The thin lateral branches of Muli bamboo in upper part have also been observed to be a suitable and ready material.  Bamboo contains a binding agent called 'Bamboo Kun' which is found within its fibres; its sole purpose is to fight off any bacteria or fungus that tries to grow on it, inevitably making bamboo the most hygienic material to use. This makes the bamboo made straws number ‘One’ as they won't harm our health, our home, or our planet. Bamboo straws are also perfect to use for both cold and hot drinks alike, such as ice cold smoothies and steaming hot coffees.

Collection of bamboo pipes from plantations/ forest doesn’t harm the grazing stock significantly but provides a sustainable livelihood option to forest dweller. These pipes can be collected up to maximum 15” in length and also available in different inner dia. Hence it has a wide range of use for different types of drinks with different size of packaging.