Paper straws contain toxic ‘forever chemicals’

The great straw debate continues...

The big move from plastic straws to paper straws was supposed to be great for the environment. Research shows paper straws can be decomposed in 2-6 weeks, while plastic straws can take up to 200 years to biodegrade.

But, are they?

Thimo Groffen, Ph.D., study author and an environmental scientist at the University of Antwerp, said in a statement --

“Straws made from plant-based materials, such as paper and bamboo, are often advertised as being more sustainable and eco-friendly than those made from plastic. However, the presence of PFAS [poly- and perfluoroalkyl-based substances known as “forever chemicals” because they last for a long time before breaking down] in these straws means that’s not necessarily true.” 


Researchers analyzed the PFA concentrations of 39 brands of drinking straws, which were comprised of five materials:

  1. Paper
  2. Bamboo
  3. Glass
  4. Stainless steel
  5. And Plastic

The research shows that paper straws were the most PFA-filled with an alarming 90% of paper straws containing the chemicals.

Meanwhile, bamboo straws came in second with 80%, followed by 75% of plastic straws, 40% of glass straws, and none in steel straws.

So, steel straws it is.

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