Swap Out Single-Use Straws for Reusable Straws
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve at least heard a bit about the environmental dangers of single-use plastic straws and how they are crazy evil and need to be obliterated from the universe. Tad dramatic? Seriously though, plastic straws are made from plastic, made from a non-renewable resource, petroleum. What are the alternatives to plastic straws?
Are Straws Necessary
For some people with disabilities, straws are a necessity and they rely on them. For the majority of people, straws aren’t necessary..
Sure straws can be fun for kids to use and some people just simply prefer to drink beverages with a straw but are they necessary, not so much.
Read my post about other single use products you can simply refuse as a way to help prevent plastic pollution.
If a straw is not a necessity for you but you just like to use straws, keep reading to determine which is the best reusable straw for you.
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Alternatives to Plastic Straws
What you might not be ‘in the know’ about is all the options for reusable straws. It seems like every day there is a new option. I bought and tested, with the help of my kiddos, 7 different brands of reusable straws to test out.
Paper straws are an option but there are a gazillion choices and honestly, they can get soggy and flimsy after a bit so I chose not to include those. Paper straws come plain as plain or cute and festive so they would be great (and cost effective) for a party or celebration.
I was given a glass straw a few years ago and within a week, it had fallen on the floor and broke. I was told it shouldn’t have broken and the company would replace it but in all seriousness, if it broke within a week, I figured that would probably happen again and glass straws just weren’t for me.
We’ve had these reusable stainless steel straws for years and love them. No complaints. I know some people don’t like the feel of stainless steel against their teeth but thankfully, that doesn’t bother me. I like that these have a slight bend to them which is helpful because stainless steel isn’t flexible.
These straws will last forever and they do keep the drinks nice and cold. Don’t use these for hot beverages or you’ll burn your mouth.
They come with a cleaning brush and it’s super important to clean reusable straws out so mold doesn’t grow in there…yuck!
Stainless Steel straws are recyclable.
Stainless Steel with Silicone Tip
There are stainless steel straws that are sold with silicone tips but hey, we already have the straws so I just bought a set of these silicone tips to attach.
These would be perfect for those who are bothered by the stainless steel against their teeth or those who, like me, already have a set of stainless steel straws.
If you’ve never used a stainless straw before, they make some noise which can be annoying. This set says it comes with the ‘silencer’ to keep the straw from clanking (yes, technical term) against the glass or cup. The Amazon product description says it comes with the tips and the silencers however, my first order came without the silencers so I requested a replacement and the same thing happened on the second order. The packaging says only the tips are included so I’ll have to take this up with Amazon.
A silencer would be very helpful when you’re taking the cup (and straw) in the car.
If you’re concerned about silicone like I am, you can learn more about choosing the right silicone products here.
These reusable silicone straws are FDA inspected top grade. They are super flexible and bend easily, fit perfectly in a bag or purse to keep with you on the go.
Silicone is good for people with sensory issues and those who like to chew straws.
They are dishwasher safe however, I wash mine by hand only because I’m afraid they’ll get lost in the dishwasher abyss. They come with a cleaning squeegee thing to make sure you don’t get mold growing in there.
You can also drop them in boiling water for a hot minute to sterilize them.
They are recyclable and can be used for both hot and cold drinks.
These reusable organic bamboo straws are a great environmentally friendly choice as bamboo is a renewable resource and one of the fastest growing plants on earth. An added benefit is bamboo is naturally antibacterial so no gross stuff growing inside the straw.
They can be cleaned with warm, soapy water and the cleaning brush that’s included.
It’s very handy that they come with their own little carrying pouch, easy to pop in a purse or bag so you’re always prepared.
You can use these straws for both hot and cold beverages and they are recyclable.
I heard about avocado being used for making straws not long ago. Maybe six months or so and was definitely intrigued. Rather than tossing the pit in the trash or a compost bin, why not make a straw out of it?
These are not reusable or at least I wouldn’t consider them reusable but they are compostable. You can use them in both hot and cold beverages.
They would be a great (cost effective) option if you need straws for a large gathering or party.
The concept is pretty cool, my head spins with some of these sciency/technical words so this is directly from the manufacturers website:
In 2012, BIOFASE discovered a molecule that can be extracted and converted into biobased plastic. This technology patented by BIOFASE, is one of the real solutions to counter plastic pollution.
We are the first non-food based bioplastic resin. This means we are not using food sources such as corn or potato, which could be used for feed. We use the avocado pit agrowaste as a raw material, from which we extract the biopolymer through our patented technology.
I just learned about these hay straws in Parade Magazine. I was working on this comparison so I decided to include them.
HayStraws reusable straws are made from natural wheat, a renewable resource! Once you’re done with it, toss it in your compost to return to Mother Earth.
You can use them in both hot and cold beverages.
Another great option for large gatherings or parties. According to the Hay Straws website, these straws use wheat stems, a byproduct of wheat production, so there’s no additional plant grown or harvested.
This is by far the coolest reusable straw I have found. The reusable silicone straw is actually inside the outer tube, which is secured by a magnetic clasp.
I’m not one for reading directions so I just took the ‘straw bracelet’ out of the box and honestly, it took me a hot minute (and going on to their website) to find the straw. The video on the website shows how.
The outer tube can be fitted to your wrist simply by cutting some of the tubing. I can envision wearing mine when I go places that I don’t want to carry my purse. They are probably the next fashion trend so go ahead and pick one up now.
You can use them in both hot and cold beverages.
According to the product insert, Strawbit is hydrophobic, meaning it repels liquid and dirt but of course, you’ll still need to clean it. It comes with a cleaner so you just need water and you’re good to go.
Our Choice for Reusable Straws
After an extremely scientific test, i.e., drinking out of each straw multiple times, of several alternatives to plastic straws, we chose the stainless steel straw with the silicone tip as our favorite.
Interestingly, my son chose the HayStraw as his second favorite. This surprised me only because the straw has a narrower opening and reminds me of a cocktail straw. I thought it would be harder to drink out of but it actually wasn’t.
I drink my smoothies out of stainless steel straws but I don’t know that I would try that with the HayStraw. It’s too narrow.
We did leave the HayStraw and the AvoPlast straw in water for a while to see if they would get soggy, like paper straws do, they didn’t. They were a tad bit softer than when we started but definitely held up. We think both would be great (cost effective) options for a large gathering or party.
Now that we have all these straws, we should have a party. Comment below with your choice of straw and favorite party drink so I can start planning!
Make it a green day!