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McDonald's Paper Straws - Yes or No? ( Edit: Mc DonaldsPaper Straws are now officially non-recylable)

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17 hours ago, Mug said:

This frustrates me about plastic straws, they tend to be made of polypropylene which is recyclable, but not commonly recycled by local authorities. Paper straws are even less recyclable though; they're coated in plastic, adding difficulty with separation (similar to paper cups). The ones that last longer tend to be less biodegradable and so more likely to cause environmental damage, and whilst plastics have very little carbon impact, paper straws have a higher carbon impact due to more trees being cut down. Another issue is that paper straws usually cannot use a high percentage of recycled paper, adding to their carbon footprint.

 

There are new plans for plastic recycling in the UK where each plastic will have a UV-fluorescent dye in it, the dye will allow a machine to identify which plastic it is and therefore how to recycle it. I think this is pretty cool, when it rolls out by 2025-ish anyway. Hopefully it'll allow a return to plastic straws; the only problem with them is their disposal really.

Paper cups and similar stuff is not covered in plastic coz that would kinda defeat the purpose of using paper in the first place. Paper is usually waxed to achieve water resistance. If you can tear it, there is no plastic on it. I'm also pretty sure I've seen somewhere a technique where cardboard/paper is polished in such a way that liquids don't diffuse into it, but I can't find info on it. If cardboard is rough water will easily diffuse into it. If it's shiny, it won't. Which then makes it 100% degradable since it's still all paper, it just doesn't like to get wet.

 

Just try grinding two sheets of paper together and you'll notice how it gets shiny. You can also try to get it wet in that point where it's shiny and you'll see water will just stay on top of it.

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17 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

I can understand using paper straws, but metal? The environment will only benefit if you carry that straw around everywhere and don't lose it for 8 years or so. 

Or we say screw the straws and use aluminum and glass cans/bottles  like they used in the old days. 


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20 minutes ago, Donut417 said:

Or we say screw the straws and use aluminum and glass cans/bottles  like they used in the old days. 

this is what I don't understand.

 

Glass and aluminum are much easier to recycle than plastic. Aluminum's probably the easiest. Glass's restriction is that it has to be separated by color.

 

Plastic has what, 8 different types that are all incompatible and impossible to recycle with each other?

 

I'd be okay with paying more for stuff if it came in glass or aluminum, or if the plastic stuff I was buying was robust enough to be used multiple times.

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ive had a couple paper straws now form different restaurants here in cali. i guess they are ok since they do last through the meal. but they are weird and they fail as soon as a slight bend happens

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Indian Govt has banned plastic straws, so McDonalds and KFC use cardboard straws, really large diameter cardboard straws, its fucking disgusting to drink with it.


 

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23 hours ago, Donut417 said:

Or we say screw the straws and use aluminum and glass cans/bottles  like they used in the old days. 

I think that's comparing apples to oranges. 

You need some kind of container regardless of whether or not you have a straw. I mean, straws are completely unnecessary in most situations.

 

 

22 hours ago, HarryNyquist said:

this is what I don't understand.

 

Glass and aluminum are much easier to recycle than plastic. Aluminum's probably the easiest. Glass's restriction is that it has to be separated by color.

 

Plastic has what, 8 different types that are all incompatible and impossible to recycle with each other?

 

I'd be okay with paying more for stuff if it came in glass or aluminum, or if the plastic stuff I was buying was robust enough to be used multiple times.

Or just do like we do in Sweden. We have "pant" on beverage containers. Basically, when you buy something in a glass, aluminium or plastic bottle it costs let's say 1 dollar plus 10 cent "pant". So at the cashier you pay 1.10 dollars. 

 

 

Then, you take the empty bottle/can back to a "pant station", put it in, and get back the 10 cents. The bottles and cans then gets recycled in a proper way. 

Sure it's annoying to have to bring a bunch of empty cans and bottles back, but it's basically like flushing money down the toilet if you don't. 

 

Even when people are lazy and throw the bottles in the trash because "it's just 10 cents", homeless people go around, rummage through trash to find and take the bottles and cans to the pant station (making them some money). 

 

It basically becomes a tax on people who don't recycle their beverage containers (specifically aluminium cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles). For people who do, they neither win nor lose anything. 

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50 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

Or just do like we do in Sweden. We have "pant" on beverage containers. Basically, when you buy something in a glass, aluminium or plastic bottle it costs let's say 1 dollar plus 10 cent "pant". So at the cashier you pay 1.10 dollars. 

Yeah we call that a deposit here in Michigan. And yes we do this on all carbonated beverages. BUT it still doesnt solve the issue with plastic, or fraud. As its hard to recycle it, hell I heard were were sending that shit to China and having them take care of it. We need no plastic or very little. 

 


You ever notice that many establishments have a sign that as "No Shirt, No Shoes, No service"? They never say anything about pants............ You know what that implies. You dont have to wear pants. 

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On 7/15/2019 at 1:19 PM, RejZoR said:

Paper cups and similar stuff is not covered in plastic coz that would kinda defeat the purpose of using paper in the first place. Paper is usually waxed to achieve water resistance. If you can tear it, there is no plastic on it. I'm also pretty sure I've seen somewhere a technique where cardboard/paper is polished in such a way that liquids don't diffuse into it, but I can't find info on it. If cardboard is rough water will easily diffuse into it. If it's shiny, it won't. Which then makes it 100% degradable since it's still all paper, it just doesn't like to get wet.

 

Just try grinding two sheets of paper together and you'll notice how it gets shiny. You can also try to get it wet in that point where it's shiny and you'll see water will just stay on top of it.

Plastic cups can be either wax or plastic lined. In this country it's more common to see the plastic ones, I've seen evidence to suggest that wax ones don't meet EU health and safety regulations. Paper coated with wax is still non-recyclable, yes it defeats the point of it being paper, which is why paper food products are generally a bad idea.

 

No idea about the polished paper, surely the paper will still get wet because the hydrophilic structure is the same. Still needs to be coated with something to make it hydrophobic.

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paper straws are garbage, you end up with a bunch of paper in your drink.

 

Metal straws are the best but too expensive for single uses. 

 

I would rather just use no straw than a paper straw.

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8 hours ago, CUDAcores89 said:

paper straws are garbage, you end up with a bunch of paper in your drink.

Several companies in Canada have already made the switch to paper, and I've literally never had this happen. A&W exclusively uses paper straws now, and I go there fairly frequently. Yes the straw will start to become mushy if you leave it for a few hours, but I've never had it dissolve into the drink.

8 hours ago, CUDAcores89 said:

Metal straws are the best but too expensive for single uses. 

They have benefits, but to say outright they are the best is to ignore their downsides, such as expense - and yes, the danger (Someone literally just impaled themselves with a metal straw recently).

8 hours ago, CUDAcores89 said:

I would rather just use no straw than a paper straw.

Typically at restaurants we opt for no straw now. It's not a knock against the paper straw, it's just a way we can help do our part to reduce unnecessary usage.


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Paper straws are great. McDonalds Canada already switched to them in select locations.

 

Wendy's, A&W, and Burger King all use paper straws up here. I don't find issue with them.


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On 7/19/2019 at 5:33 PM, dalekphalm said:

Typically at restaurants we opt for no straw now. It's not a knock against the paper straw, it's just a way we can help do our part to reduce unnecessary usage. 

I think this is what we should move towards, rather than just switching them out for paper straws.

Why have straws to begin with? For some specific stuff I get it. Drinking a milkshake or some types of alcoholic drinks with lot of stuff on the glass can be a bit awkward, but for stuff like soft drinks? Just drink them without a straw. I think that should be the standard, and then you can ask for a straw if you need it.

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You can sip some Coke with a straw while holding a big burger with both hands. You can't exactly pick up a cup while holding burger same way. That would be my interpretation why they are doing it. Or in car so it doesn't spill around. Otherwise sure, no need for it.

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5 hours ago, RejZoR said:

You can sip some Coke with a straw while holding a big burger with both hands. You can't exactly pick up a cup while holding burger same way. That would be my interpretation why they are doing it. Or in car so it doesn't spill around. Otherwise sure, no need for it.

That has got to be a huge niche use of a straw.

 

I don't think I've ever drank from a straw while holding a burger in both hands. Very rarely do I even need to hold the burger in both hands to begin with, but if I do, I'm generally busy biting and chewing it.

 

If I want a sip, I simply put the burger down.

 

Now, using a straw in a car to avoid mess is something I can agree is a legitimate use.


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Paper Straws taste terrible. There are Biodegradable Plastics they can use to make straws (like the plant based plastics used for most water bottles. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have no clue how this topic lasted so long but here is an important piece of information to consider:

IMG-20190805-WA0011.jpg

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2 hours ago, pptx said:

I have no clue how this topic lasted so long but here is an important piece of information to consider:

IMG-20190805-WA0011.jpg

You’re not supposed to recycle paper straws. You compost them. 


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On 7/26/2019 at 6:17 AM, Shin-Gouki said:

Paper Straws taste terrible. There are Biodegradable Plastics they can use to make straws (like the plant based plastics used for most water bottles. 

Those plant-based plastics still take years to break down and still cost more money than anyone cares to spend to recycle effectively. 

 

2 hours ago, pptx said:

I have no clue how this topic lasted so long but here is an important piece of information to consider:

If you're using paper straws, you can toss them into the compost or put them in the paper bin for shredding or cat litter. 


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bamboo straws?

Already hollowed, just need to pierce it.  Recyclabe. You can "pant" then.

 

ATM we have place where you still get plastic straws, or you can get paper straws.

 

Regarding the waxed paper, in fact they use mineral wax (from raffined petroleum), so no doesn't meet the safety food products standards.

Not enough "natural wax"  (bee's wax) to make enough waxed paper.

 

The one thing that surprised me is that in some shops, it is advertised that you can bring your own container from home (tupperware or glass/pyrex). If you don't, you'll get a plastic bag to wrap all your meat, cheese, etc. and you'll have to pay the plastic bag (can go up to 0,5€/bag).

You very quickly get the habit of bringing your own container.

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1 hour ago, Cora_Lie said:

bamboo straws?

Already hollowed, just need to pierce it.  Recyclabe. You can "pant" then.

 

ATM we have place where you still get plastic straws, or you can get paper straws.

 

Regarding the waxed paper, in fact they use mineral wax (from raffined petroleum), so no doesn't meet the safety food products standards.

Not enough "natural wax"  (bee's wax) to make enough waxed paper.

 

The one thing that surprised me is that in some shops, it is advertised that you can bring your own container from home (tupperware or glass/pyrex). If you don't, you'll get a plastic bag to wrap all your meat, cheese, etc. and you'll have to pay the plastic bag (can go up to 0,5€/bag).

You very quickly get the habit of bringing your own container.

Here in Canada, the big chain grocery stores (Walmart, Safeway/Sobeys, SaveOnFoods) are all planning to switch to paper bags entirely. You bring your own container, or you pay a small fee for a paper one, usually 5 cents. The paper bags are more easily disposable than the plastic bags, considering you can put them in the green or yellow bin, in general recycling, instead of having to recycle them at a recycling centre. If you throw the plastic bags in the trash, the government will issue you a fine.

 

It's a win win for everyone. For the consumer, it's easier to recycle, while for the business, they don't care since the consumer is paying the difference anyway.


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3 hours ago, LienusLateTips said:

For the consumer, it's easier to recycle

Paper used for food is not easy to recycle.


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12 minutes ago, Drak3 said:

Paper used for food is not easy to recycle.

its not meant to be recycled, but much easier decompose naturally

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10 minutes ago, Drak3 said:

Paper used for food is not easy to recycle.

I believe he’s talking about the grocery bag itself - which as far as I’m aware, isn’t a wax based paper, as any food stored inside will generally have their own packaging anyway. 

 

It would be similar to what you might know as a “yard bag”, which is just thick paper, nothing special. 


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