Tetra Pak to Launch Paper Juice-Pack Straws

CC BY-SA 2.0. Tetra Pak

While one school has banned juice boxes in an effort to promote litter-less lunch, anyone who has attended a kids' birthday party knows that juice boxes are still insanely popular among kids and parents alike.

While they may be convenient, they pose a challenge in terms of sustainability—and not just because they are hard to recycle. Those little, pointy straws that are designed to pierce the foil seal? They're also apt to get lost in streams and rivers—and can wreak havoc with the mouths of any animals that try to digest them.

That's why it's encouraging to hear via Business Green that Tetra Pak's development team is working hard on a fully biodegradable, paper straw for their juice packs which they hope to launch by the end of the year.

Of course, just as going strawless is preferable to biodegradable straws, it would be nice if we consumed fewer juice boxes in total. Given that we're now seeing coffee shop chains banning disposable cups, and cities getting serious about free, refillable water schemes, I'm hopeful that the debate is moving toward a sharp reduction of disposables all together.

That said, I suspect we're not quite at a point where reusability is the norm. So it's great to hear that one of the most pernicious items of single-use plastic may soon become a lot less harmful.