Yes we have no plastic straws: Subway, Booster Juice
I don’t drink juice, and never felt any particular attraction to Booster Juice, even though (yes) I know what it sells is smoothies. It’s just that in my mind smoothies are kind of utilitarian; something I drink after a hard workout. I don’t really associated them with fun. My loss, no doubt.
But Eldest likes Booster Juice and on a recent outing she asked for something green yet berry-ish in flavour. I forget which concoction she picked, but it was real tasty. Of course, being the proud owner of a retractable stainless-steel reusable straw, she didn’t need any provided by the store. But that didn’t stop me from noticing the sign boasting about the new plant-based compostable straws.
The company announced the switch earlier this year, in a bid to get ahead of an impending ban on single-use plastics. Apparently customers were asking for something more sustainable than plastic, too. So the company came up with this solution.
Which isn’t bad, considering their product. Smoothies are hard to consume on the go without a straw. And given how much these things cost, I for one wouldn’t want to sip it through paper. That’d get mushy in a hurry and mess with the taste of the fruits and veggies and whatever magical thing is in the cup that makes those smoothies taste so good.
It’s not like drinking soda, obviously. Which tastes just as gross through paper or plastic and straight in the mouth from the cup like we do when we drink at home. I’m really not a fan of soda, bordering on the zealot actually, and when they were little my kids never drank it except as an occasional treat. Now that they’re bigger they get a little more of it but again, not much when they’re with me unless we’re already eating fast food.
The other day I took Middle Daughter to Shakespeare in the Park (Romeo and Juliet, it was excellent) and took her to the nearby Subway first because this particular small person is very partial to their sandwiches. She gets a small Coke with her sandwich because that’s part of the treat even though “small” is roughly the size of a large bucket. (I make her fill it half-way, because I’m no fun at all.) Imagine my surprise when I realized her straw was made of paper. I didn’t notice any sign in the restaurant about this, but apparently the move was announced last year and the goal was to get rid of plastic straws by 2019. Aka nowish.
Paper straws aren’t great. They do the job, but barely. Which is probably just as well. If you’re going to sit down and eat your meal at a hard plastic table, why not just drink your cola from the cup without a straw? And if you need to finish it on the go, use the paper straw or, better yet, get yourself a portable reusable one. Maybe fast food outlets should sell reusable straws on the side, for customers who don’t like paper. There are options cheaper than stainless steel, including bamboo. Or come up with a different solution, for instance cup lids in the shape of a sippy cup, which require no straw to begin with. Don’t laugh. Starbucks has some of those for certain summery drinks. It doesn’t make you feel like a toddler one bit. It’s still a plastic lid, which isn’t perfect yet, but at least it gets rid of the need for a straw. And that’s sort of the point, isn’t it.