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Pros and Cons of PLA Straws

Plastics Technology

Audrey Tumbarello, Journalist

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With plastic straws getting banned, companies are trying to find alternatives like paper, bamboo, and stainless steel straws. Another alternative is the PLA straws. PLA stands for polylactic acid which is made from renewable resources, like sugar cane and corn starch. Since these straws are made from natural resources, they would be better for the environment. The PLA straws have both pros and cons.

Cons of PLA Straws:

The biggest Con about the PLA straws is that if they do not break down all the way, which then can be just as harmful as the plastic straws. PLA plastics are only compostable in a commercial composting facility, and currently in the U.S there is only a limited number of facilities in which the breaking down process occurs. Another con of PLA straws, is that the plastic that they are made out of has to be seperate when recycled because since it is plant-based, it has to be disposed in composting facilities.

Even though there are some cons about the PLA there are many pros.

Pros of PLA Straws:

First, the straws, as stated above, are made out of natural resources, and the PLA straws are derived from corn, which is good because it can renewed annually. PLA straws also do not produce toxic fumes. Another pro, is that these straws require 68 percent fewer fossil fuel resources to make than traditional plastic, according to Ecopack. Ecopack also said that these straws in drinks are very sturdy. The PLA straws have the same sanitation and utility as plastic straws, but the PLA straw is just capable of degrading at a much faster rate.

Overall, the PLA straw would be good to use if the world wants to live sustainable, and wants to have the straw look, and act just like a traditional plastic straw.

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