EU targets straw ban, but price hurdles remain

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In the European Union, a number of plastic straw bans are poised to boost demand for plant-based solutions, although the high price of renewable alternatives remains a challenge.

UK’s Plastico has started selling straws made from paper and plant-based substances. “The price differences between disposable plastic straws and eco alternatives are still a barrier to venues adopting them,” Buzz Seager, a spokesperson for catering retailer Drinkstuff, tells CNN. John Sidanta, founder and CEO of Primaplast, pegs the price differential at five to six times more than standard plastic straws.

Uproar over nonbiodegradable, petroleum-based straws ratcheted up over the explosive report that total plastics in the ocean will outweigh all fish by 2050. Straws, which are small and rarely recycled, are considered a major contributor. The EU as a whole is pushing for a ban on multiple single-use plastic products, including straws by 2030, but cities like Glasgow and retailers such as Pizza Express are implementing their own bans.