There are many Awareness & Sensitization programs being run by both the government and non-government agencies but still, restaurants are not making the much-needed switch to environment-friendly products like reusable steel straws.
Let us try to discuss the reason for such a situation and what can we do to encourage the restaurants and make them switch to more eco-friendly options.
The major concern of cleaning the straws
The main concern of most restaurant owners is that it would be difficult to clean after use but that is not the case as there are multiple ways by using which it can easily be cleaned.
Using the cleaners
Steel Straw cleaners are specially designed to be longer in length and flexible enough to come out of the other end of the straw even if the straw is bent one which ensures the whole straw is cleaned properly of any residue or pulp left of the previous drinks.
Soaking the straws
The straws can be cleaned by placing them inside a small tub of hot soapy water for soaking these straws and cleaners can be used along with this to ensure the hygiene.
Using the dishwashers
Dishwashers can also be used to provide thorough cleaning to the straws as they can be easily clean by keeping the straws in the bulk utility rack and would be cleaned with ease.
Other concern is the cost
Steel straws cost about Rs 25 per straw on an average where other alternatives to plastic straws which are paper straws cost about Re 1 on an average.
Lets analysis costs and benefits
Let assume that a Restaurant has an average of 200 customers daily who use straws.
And average days in a month is 30, that would need about 6,000 (200 x 30) of disposable straws each month to attend these customers.
And that would be 72,000 (6000 x 12 Months) consumed in a year.
On the other hand, If we talk about Steel Straws.
With an assumption that 200 customers would ask for the straw on a daily basis.
And keeping in an account that some of the straws would go missing and keeping a surplus of 100 straws to cover that.
That would bring our requirement of Steel Straws to 300.
Since these straws can be reused any number of times after cleaning them
These 300 Straws would go on for years to come just like other cutlery items in your restaurant.
For easier understanding, we assume this to be true for a year.
An average cost of straw is about Rs30/ Pc although we will give you discounts depending on quantity.
That would bring the annual cost for 300 straws to INR 9000 and since these straws would last for years and assuming the life of one to be 3 years just for ease of calculation.
That would be INR 9000 for the Straws for 3 years and in case of paper straws that would be INR 2,16,000 (72,000 x 3).
That way you would be saving of INR 69,000 annually just from straws and that you can easily invest in marketing or improving your facilities.
And monthly consumption would be far more than just 200 straws every month and saving from using these steel straws would be equally high.
The two main concerns that needed to be addressed are clear that it can be cleaned easily using the techniques and cleaners as mentioned above. Secondly, It is highly cost-efficient as compared to the other alternatives of the plastic straws.