The ever-roaming spotlight has finally found a spot to fixate, and to our delight, it has fallen on straws. #NoStraw movements have flooded restaurants, cafes, social media platforms, and are even on their way to reform policies.
As a health-conscious, eco-friendly, sustainability-focused team, we are so enthused about this change in momentum. We know that America alone uses about 500 million straws each day, and cringe at the thought of more than 8 billion straws littering our earth’s beaches. Passionate to make a difference and lead plastic-free lives, we have refrained from using disposable straws for years. We strongly encourage others to follow that path and say no to using plastic straws.
#NoPlastic movements worked in the past. The ‘so practical’, yet, landfill-destined plastic bags that were used at grocery checkouts have been replaced with reusable cloth bags. Similarly, plastic-lined coffee cups are often substituted for travel mugs at cafés. It worked for them, and it can work again. Next in line is the disposable straw – go plastic free!
We know – straws are fun, useful, convenient. They are not always a necessity; however, they have become a habit that many are not yet ready to quit. Instead of rejecting straws entirely, we have turned to reusable straws as a healthier, more eco-friendly alternative.
So many options, but which to choose? As reusable straw curators, we have gone and analyzed each form of reusable straw carefully. Here are our Top 5 – ranked from our fifth choice to our first!
1) Paper Straws
Paper straws seem to be the first go-to for restaurants and cafés that still want to provide customers the ‘straw-experience’. Although they are still single-use products, these straws are a significant step above plastic. If the straws do not have any plastic films or designs, many paper straws can go into compost. They break down in around six weeks, and thus, will not pollute our Earth’s surfaces for decades to come! Try to choose a paper straw that doesn’t feature bright colors to minimize the chemical pigments.
If you enjoy the ‘natural look’, these straws are for you. Made from real, whole bamboo stalks, these straws are the real deal. Nothing about them is re-compressed or processed – they are simply natural bamboo. BPA, phthalate, PVC, and lead-free, they are much safer for your health than old plastic straws. Clean them with warm water and soap, and let them dry completely, and these babies will last you for years! These are reusable and last longer than paper straws but not as long as glass or metal ones since bamboo can absorb flavors and can be harder to clean if the bamboo shoot is thinner. At the end of their life though, these straws are composted, so they can return to the ground and go full circle from their birth.
3) Glass Straws
A reusable straw that allows you to see what you are drinking – amazing! The glass straw is clean, classic, and aesthetically pleasing. See the beverage you are consuming, and what’s better, see the inside of the straw to ensure it is completely clean when you are finished! Not only are these straws BPA, phthalate, PVC, and lead-free, they are also dishwasher safe AND do not impart flavours into your beverage. We suggest straws made of strong borosilicate glass as this type of glass is more durable. They are of course glass and can break but if they do, the glass is recyclable.
4) Stainless Steel Straws
Sleek and timeless. Durable and recyclable. Safe for your health and for the planet. Say goodbye to the fear of leaching chemicals and imparting flavours into your drinks. Stainless steel straws are a much safer alternative to plastic ones that can contain BPA and phthalates. Say yes to feeling (and looking!) good about your actions, with stainless steel straws. With our Life Without Plastic kit, feel truly outfitted with a high quality 18-8 (304) stainless steel straw, cleaning brush, and organic cotton carrying pouch. Stainless steel stands above the rest because it is incredibly durable and will last the longest and if ever it can’t be used, it actually can be recycled!
Well… you just read our second favourite, the stainless steel straw. Telescopic stainless steel straws are the new, innovative, and upgraded version of the already awesome stainless steel straw! Of course, sleek, timeless, durable, recyclable, health and eco-safe… these straws encompass this all but they can also collapse down in length allowing them to store small and fit into your pocket! Extend these handy tools out in to the length you need for drinking, and collapse them down back into a small size for transporting. We wish to make plastic-free living easy and with this telescopic straw kit, keeping your reusable straw with you on-the-go has never been more convenient. Our Life Without Plastic telescopic straws are also accompanied by a telescopic straw cleaning brush with natural wool bristles, and an organic cotton carrying pouch. After an easy-clean, tuck these straws away and keep both your back, and the straw, clean long-term.
Well, there you have it! Who would’ve thought there could be a hierarchy of straws?! All jokes aside, we are truly thrilled to see so many alternatives to plastic arise in light of the #NoStraw movement. Choose the straw that best aligns with your ideals, and feel good about the change you have made! What better a place to start your Life Without Plastic than with a cute and clean straw.
Written by: Priya Gulyani