As the Zero Waste Movement grows, there have been more attention and awareness to single use plastics. The lowest hanging fruit would probably be plastic straws in terms of tackling this waste issue. ENTER the reusable straws. Did you know it takes roughly 200 years for a plastic straw to breakdown? Neither did I. That means when you’re done with your straw it will still be floating around somewhere until the rest of your life! Plastic straws are ever increasingly finding its way to the ocean and getting ingested by marine animals. So we know its a big problem and there are small changes we can do to address this.
So if there’s no plastic straw… what do we use to drink our beverages?!? Well, you can always go without but if you’re like me and enjoy drinking things through straws then here are our options for reusable straws / environmentally friendlier straws.
- Stainless Steel
- Combination between steel and silicon (Kleen Kanteen reusable straws)
I haven’t put biodegradable or compostable straws in this list because they don’t break down once it hits the ocean. The ocean is just too cold for it to start the breakdown process and still cause similar damage that plastic straws are doing.
Cost: £6.99 for 8 straws and you get cleaning brushes (On Amazon)
- Dishwasher Safe – so you can chuck it in the dishwasher if you are lazy, however, I always wonder if it is really clean.
- Strong and sturdy – so you can bring it with you in your everyday bag and not worry that it will break during transport
- Keeps its shape – there is no bending here people! It is the shape that you bought it. You can get these straight or bent.
- If you are drinking something too hot or too cold the temperature of the drink gets transferred to the straw it makes it difficult to suck
- Can’t see through the straw when you are cleaning so there’s always an element of “Wonder if I got everything?”
- Can’t really drink a thick smoothie with these straws, the opening diameter is smaller so you will be sucking very hard to get your smoothie through this straw.
Cost: £17.00 for 12 straws (On Amazon)
- Feels very organic drinking from this reusable bamboo straw.
- I feel like there is a use by date for this bamboo straw. Doesn’t feel like a forever straw, like I would need to replace it in a year or so.
- The diameter of bamboo straws are generally wider than your typical plastic straw so one suck gets a lot of liquid into your mouth.
Cost: £10.00 for 5 straws (On Amazon)
- You can see through this reusable straw which eliminates my anxiety of not getting the straw thoroughly clean
- Probably dishwasher safe
- Because it is glass, there is an element of safety involved. It may shatter if you drop it.
- They are more bulky looking so requires more of your lips to cover the straw
- Probably not as portable as other straws because it feels a little more vulnerable to transportation jiggles.
Cost: 6 pounds for 150 straws (On Amazon)
- So pretty – they come in so many colours and patterns.
- More sustainable that plastic straws if you need a throw-away straw
- If you leave it too long in your drink, the drink starts to make the straw soggy. I personally do not find this a pleasant experience and feel rushed to finish my drink every time.
- This is not a reusable straw, although it is slightly more environmentally friendlier.
Cost: $10USD for 10 straws
- So fun! Drink your drink then eat your straw!
- Innovative and just cool.
- More expensive for a non reusable straw. Thats $1USD for 1 straw… that’s probably more expensive than my drink!
- Pre-order only (as of the time writing this post)
Kleen Kanteen Reusable straws
Cost: 10 GBP for 4 straws and pipe cleaner (On Amazon)
- Love the combination of the stainless steel and the silicon for the mouth part because it doesn’t transfer the temperature of the drink to your lips. It makes it more safe for children to drink from.
- Love the colours that come in the pack. Makes it fun to drink from. I have the orange, purple, blue and green pack.
- The pipe cleaner is slightly larger than the hole of the straw so it is a tad more difficult to clean but it gives me reassurance that it is clean.
- When we were in Bali all the restaurants used either paper, stain-less steel or glass straws! I didn’t see one plastic straw! It was awesome.
- Takes 200 years for a straw to decompose and when it does decompose it leaches toxic chemicals into the ground.
- Plastic straws when they land into water start to dissolve into micro-plastics. This means that they are easily ingested by fish and other marine life. As a result, plastic makes its way into our food chain.
- Because plastic straws weigh almost nothing, they get easily blown into the ocean from all parts of the country.
So after looking at all our reusable/environmentally-friendlier straw options, which one is my favourite and which is my least favourite?
My favourite would have to be the Kleen Kanteen straws. They just feel like they would be my “Last Straw” that I would ever use. Where as the bamboo seems like a shorter term option and Lolistraw is just not sustainable in terms of dishing out $10 for every 10 straws.
My least favourite is the paper straw option. Paper straws just annoy me. They get soggy and leave me dissatisfied with my drinking experience.
I would like to end on a quote fromThe Final Straw site that really captured my attention today.
I used to wonder why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realised I am somebody.
Plastic Straw Sites – Useful links
There are awesome websites at the moment addressing this plastic straw issue.
- In Cornwall, The Final Straw has started a campaign to rid Cornwall of single use plastic straws and raise awareness of the damage single use plastics are causing to our environment.
- NUS created The Last Straw Pledge
- On BBC, there’s a short video on how to break up with plastic Five ways to break up with plastic
- Other posts on zero waste