Updated: May 21
A woman died last week from a freak accident impaling herself with an eco-friendly metal straw. Elena, a lady from the UK died with a metal straw pierced through her eye socket into her brain when she fell headfirst onto her kitchen floor while drinking from an eco-friendly metal straw. This horrific freak accident upset me and made me think about plant-based alternatives.
If the easiest way to drink a drink is using our mouth why on this green earth are we still buying singular use plastic straws? As for metal straws, well there is definitely an obvious health and safety issue. It is understandable that developing children, people with health problems, people on a liquid blend diet or smoothie lovers have no other option, but we should still be questioning why singular use plastic straws are still mass-produced when there are plant-based alternatives on the market. In 2016, when the news broke that the city of Rio De Janeiro will host the Olympic and Paralympic summer games, the residents and participating athletes went wild with excitement, as did the city council, until reality kicked in when health inspectors started doing the rounds. Following the health inspection dangerous levels of virus and antibiotic-resistant bacteria where found in the water, including large amounts of singular use plastic pollution heavily gathered around the largest bay in the world, Guanabara bay. In preparation for the games, a short-lived eco-barrier was implemented temporarily pushing human-made plastic pollution and city sewage waste out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Despite major concerns for the health and wellbeing of the athletes, like a pig in lipstick the games went ahead. Surprisingly only 5% of the Olympic and paralympic athletes caught infectious diseases, although it is fair to say the athletes competing are a super healthy bunch. In July 2018 Brazil: the city of Rio De Janeiro became the first country to ban plastic straws. This small-big environmental ban made the country question singular-use petroleum waste pollution and this year you will have noticed supermarket chains being more mindful, replacing plastic bags for recycled paper bags and in turn trying to reduce singular-use food packaging. Maybe because of this eco-friendly metal straw accident we should consider replacing metal straws and plastic singular-use straws with plant-based grass straws, bamboo straws or recycled paper straws? Although I'm not convinced straws are a necessity, certainly not for healthy adults anyway.
If you work in hospitality, a school, a restaurant or you buy straws at home or maybe you have the pleasure of shaking cocktails at the beach for a living, have a little think about this small-big change and consider grass straws or bamboo straws and feel the power, the plant-based power because the grass is not always greener, but plant-based straws are. If you want to help it is easy, just click here.