In the United States – and beyond – there is now a heated debate concerning disposable plastic straws: from undisputed stars of the beverage sector to deplorable enemies of the environment, the inexorable decline of plastic straws has been caused by the fact that they are so difficult to recycle due to their small size.
This was also discussed a few days ago in the New York Times, which reports that the ubiquitous straws are starting to be banned from cafés in the Big Apple by the most environmentally aware managers and owners.
There is already a ban on plastic straws in force, for example, in some United States cities, including Seattle and Malibu, while in the United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that she would like to ban them permanently from 2019. So alternative solutions are appearing made from paper – but they deteriorate fast – or metal, but here the problems are the exorbitant costs.
In the meantime, the English city of Bristol has come up with an unusual, innovative alternative: Spritzes, Moscow Mules and Whiskey Sours with pasta straws instead of the plastic variety! A fascinating, revolutionary but above all more sustainable idea, launched by the owners of a bar in the British city, tired of the usual (and more pollutant) plastic straws. However, if the idea of “bucatini” and “ziti” hollow pasta sounds as tasty in a glass with ice as in a dish with sauce, there is no denying that this solution could generate food waste…
The original alternative of pasta straws inevitably attracted the amused attention of the world pasta market leader, the Barilla Group, which considers innovation and sustainability two fundamental pillars of its corporate mission. And, to overcome the potential risk of food waste implicit in the use of biodegradable pasta straws, it might be possible, for example, to adopt some of the best practices Barilla follows with regard to recycling and waste prevention. The Italian firm uses food waste from its industrial snack and pasta production process for animal feed production or as compost: so why not do the same with pasta straws? 
The many awareness-raising projects and campaigns are generating a great deal of attention on the subject, and are encouraging a variety of players - public and private - to take action. So let's drink a toast (without plastic straw, ça va sans dire!) to sustainable alternatives, and even better, more environment-friendly drinking.