Plastic vs. Plants Straws
There is an interesting story about the truth of Edmonton restaurants removing plastic straws. The plastic straws are most likely being replaced by plant based straws (paper or bamboo) this sounds good but unfortunately they need to be placed in a compost bin otherwise they head to landfills just like their plastic counter parts.
Due to current waste management programs at property developments in Edmonton there is no organics/compost service for plant based straws and the hundreds of thousands of tons of food waste being produced from the restaurants on these sites.
Plant based straws and food waste won’t decompose in landfills because of how landfills work. When a dump truck dumps waste at a landfill the waste is covered by gravel, sand, water and a plastic liner to maximize space. Through this process oxygen is removed and it’s oxygen that decomposes things.
You can bite into an apple and throw it into a landfill come back 50 years later and that apple will still be there. However there are compost facilities we can send our food waste too. In most cases a restaurants waste is managed by a property management or development company and they could make changes tomorrow to compost plant based straws and food waste.