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‘Forever chemicals’ coat the outer layers of biodegradable straws

John Bowden, an assistant professor at University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, wasn’t a fan of paper straws when they first gained popularity.

“They broke down in drinks really quickly,” Bowden told EHN. “They fell apart in your mouth.”

But then the biodegradable market—plant- and paper-based straws—expanded, giving people more structurally sound plastic straw replacement options. People could dip them in a drink without having to pull out a soggy clump of paper.

Bowden was skeptical. Oftentimes, companies will coat permeable products in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are resistant to liquids. Read more…