The fight against single-use plastic seems to be happening everywhere and one of the main targets is the plastic straw. These plastic drink accessories have become a part of everyday life but at what cost? Americans alone consume around 500 million plastic straws a day only for them to end up in the ocean. So how do we fix the plastic straw problem when society has already become so accustom to them? If you’re someone who can’t go without a straw, consider an alternative to plastic. Below I’ll discuss some of the best reusable straw options on the market today.
• Steel straws – according to Inhabitat, this material’s odor-resisting properties and durability has put it at the top of the reusable straw list. An added benefit is that the straw helps cold drinks maintain a crisp and refreshing temperature as people consume their beverage.
• Koffie straws- these straws are made from a soft silicone so users can fold them up and take them anywhere. Although most reusable straws come with a pipe cleaner to help clean out the insides, these straws are also dishwasher safe making them super easy to clean. Now you might think, isn’t silicone just another type of plastic? Yes, that’s true but these straws are built to last forever and according to The Strategist, if you do plan on throwing them away, all you have to do is burn them. When you do this, they turn into 100 per cent biodegradable ash.
• Stainless steel with silicone tip straws- when using a stainless steel straw some people might get worried about the hard material and wonder if it could chip their teeth. With a silicone tip this worry doesn’t exist. It’s also a great alternative if you’re looking to use these straws for hot beverages since the tip will prevent the straw from burning your lips.
• Glass straws- people might disregard this option for fear of it breaking but surprisingly; a glass alternative is actually quite durable. Made with layered and tempered glass, these straws do not break easily when dropped or mishandled. On top of its sustainability, the clear colour allows the user to see if there is any dirt stuck in the straw to ensure they are getting cleaned properly.
Although it may seem like using reusable straws is just a small step in the grand scheme of eliminating plastic, it’s a good start to becoming greener. At the end of the day, I think we would all feel better knowing our straws are going back into kitchen drawers rather than causing issues for marine life or leaching toxins into the ground.