Having been to Alaska on three occasions, I couldn’t help noticing that the beautiful glaciers have receded more with each time I visited, which is impacting wildlife, oceans and the overall environment. Sustainability and the health of our planet also is top of mind for many beverage brands, who reduce and reuse water, install solar panels in factories and increasingly are employing sustainable packaging.

Restaurants and businesses also are providing options for consumers by swapping plastic straws for biodegradable paper straws. More than 500 million plastic straws, enough to fill 46,400 large school buses, are used annually, according to Aardvark, maker of the original paper drinking straws.

Plastic straws are made of polypropylene. Ninety percent of all the trash floating in the world’s oceans is comprised of plastic, and 44 percent of all seabirds and mammals have ingested it, according to the nonprofit Save Our Shores. Plastic straws also are among the Top 10 debris items littering parks and beaches, Aardvark notes. 

Through Aardvark’s Straws on Demand campaign, more restaurants and businesses are switching to paper straws, which can be customized and personalized with any restaurant or company name, logo or tag line, it says.

The eco-friendly, biodegradable straws come in four sizes: 10.5-, 7.75-, 7.5- and 4.75-inches with Eco-Flex bendy options available for milkshake straws. More than 200 designs are offered and the straws are available wrapped
or unwrapped.

Whether it’s a biodegradable straw or other sustainable efforts, it’s likely than more foodservice outlets will continue to “go green” for the health and safety of our planet.