A recent article estimated that nearly 500 million disposable plastic straws are tossed into landfills every year, but DEFRA did a review in 2018 ‘straw wars’ and estimate the number is closer to 42 billion straws are being used a year in the UK - that's 640 per person with each straw taking 200 years to break down.
From April 2020, plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds will be banned throughout England in an attempt to curb and reduce the amount of plastic pollution that is having an effect on our environment, running our streams, rivers, seas and oceans.
At Downton Distillery we are keen to promote alternatives and help eliminate single-use plastic straws. To the consumer there are now many reusable drinking straw options in the market varying in price with the alternatives being metal, silicone and bamboo.
Our focus is on the bamboo straw, which grows in abundance. There are over 100 types of bamboo, those that grow quickly and others that require 3-5 years to reach maturity. Bamboo is grown chemical-free, not requiring the need for chemical fertilizers or pesticides it is fully sustainable, recyclable and compostable too.
No other straw can boast this quality in the same way.
Here are some facts about our drinking straws.
How long will bamboo straws last?
The straws are reusable and can last for several years pending on how you use them.
They can be used for both hot and cold drinks.
Are bamboo straws hygienic and how do I sterilise bamboo straws?
Bamboo fibres have natural antimicrobial properties meaning they are less likely to harbour bacteria over time and be more resistant to spoiling or rotting over time.
Boiling bamboo straws from time to time in a little salt and white vinegar helps preserve them and will remove any built-up residue, they can also be placed in the dishwasher too.
In order to ensure the longevity of your bamboo straws, after hand washing, make sure to let them fully dry by laying them flat (not vertical) to prevent any water build-up at the bottom of the straw and always store them in a well-ventilated area. Avoid airtight containers or jars as this will cause potential moisture build-up inside the straws.
How long does it take for bamboo straws to biodegrade?
When your straw show natural signs of wear and tear such as splitting or fraying at the ends, it’s time to dispose of them. Rather than throwing them in the garbage, you can simply compost them in the garden. Cut them up and spread across the garden, they will break down within 4-6 months.
Will they alter the taste of my Gin and Tonic or cocktail?
While some people are more sensitive to tastes and flavours, bamboo straws are neutral. There is no additional taste and the bamboo straw will not affect or alter the flavour of your drink.
Explorer Straws are now available online and at all our events.