Listen, I’m not here to start a debate on climate change. If you are a troll looking to start some shit, go ahead and click the X on the top of the page, get yourself outta here and have a nice day. People either believe in climate change or they don’t, I get it. Im not here to change peoples beliefs, or try to talk sense into dummies. Fact of the matter is straws are 100% one or or another becoming an extinct creature. Most restaurants currently only give out straws if you ask, and most states are going to be straw-less come 2020.
Why are plastic straws bad?
Plastic straws ARE NOT RECYCLABLE. Straws contain BPA making them an unfit candidate to be recycled. We use over 500 million plastic straws a day. If we don’t stop using plastic straws by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Plastic straws and bottle caps get filtered through recycle plants because of their weight and size, thus spending the rest of their life in landfills, and more often times the ocean.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plastic straws are one of the top five most common items found on our shores during International Coastal Cleanups. If you are a cold person and don’t care about animals, I dare you to watch the video of plastic getting pulled out of Mr. turtles nose and tell me you still don’t care.
How do plastic straws end up in the ocean?
Plastic straws end up in the ocean three ways:
- Left on beaches in coastal cities and resorts
- Littered in general
- Blown out of trash cans, or from shipping containers carrying garbage
ALL GUTTERS AND STORM DRAINS LEAD TO OUR OCEANS!
Why should people care if plastic straws end up in the ocean?
If you watched the video and you still don’t get why this is bad, let me throw some science at you. 71% of sea birds and 30% of turtles are found with plastic in their stomachs. Once plastic is ingested, the mortality rate is 50%.
Once plastic has been littered into our oceans, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces known as microplastics. All sorts of fish then eat these microplastics, causing harm and death to fish everywhere.
Can plastic straws negatively affect humans?
YES, YES, YES, YES, AND YES!
Anders Jacobson, president of the global water purification brand Bluewater, says the greatest impact plastic has on the human body has to do with your cells, and the effects are nothing good: “Plastic contains many chemical additives that have negative human health effects like carcinogens, and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP),” adding that, because of these chemicals, drinking from and/or using plastic in general can “impair immune function, increase chances for cancer, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity, among other problems to be confirmed.”
Anything made from or with plastic can release harmful chemicals, like BPA, into the beverages you drink, the foods you eat, and the products you use daily, and this can cause a number of long-term health issues, according to NPR, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
What if people need to medically use a straw?
There is always a flip side to every argument, and the flip side here is some people medically need to use a straw. Going without straws can mean struggling through the physical motion of putting a drink to a mouth, or leaking liquid into the lungs, or choking.
I 100% understand straws are a necessity to some people and not just a want.
While alternative to plastic straws have been limited in the past, recent options are now available to those out there with needs or disabilities.
What is an alternative to plastic straws?
This is not an article being anti-straw, but instead an article on REUSABLE STRAWS OR BIODEGRADABLE STRAWS. Straw alternatives can come in:
What is a reusable straw vs biodegradable straw?
A reusable straw is made of material you can wash and use over and over, such as metal or glass.
Biodegradable straws are made of material that can be broken down by natural process, into more basic components. Products are broken down by bacteria, fungi or other simple organisms. These straws are made of paper or bamboo.
What are things to keep in mind when purchasing reusable straw?
If you are new to reusable straws, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Length you need the straw to be – for preference and size of the container
- Consistency of the beverage – smoothies, bubba teas, shakes and malts will require a straw with a thicker diameter where coffee, water, juice etc an be drank thorough a smaller width
- Cleaning- Do you have a brush cleaner or can they be put in the dishwasher?
- Do you want a straight or bended shaped straw
- Do you want a straw with a case or one you can just throw out
- Do you prefer a certain material over another
- Do you want your straw to be simple or come in a fun pattern
- Do you want a pack of them or a single one you can use over and over and over and over and over
How do reusable straws get cleaned?
Check to see if your reusable straw is dry clean friendly, and if it is then just throw it on in there!
If it’s not, follow instructions below.
- Submerge straw into hot soapy water in your sink
- Use a bottle brush, or straw brush that typically comes with your straw, and push in and out to clean inside of straw
- Focus on the bend point of the straw, this is where build up will happen
- Rinse fully with warm water and then place upright to dry
Writers tip- If you don’t have a bottle or straw brush a pipe cleaner can get the job done![su_divider divider_color=”#46bff9″ size=”6″ margin=”30″]
Alternatives To Plastic Straws
Metal straws are a great reusable straw option that can be found in straight and bended shapes. Often times metal straws come with a cleaning tool! They’re typically made from stainless steel or copper.
People often say metal straws will get to hot or to cold depending on the temperature of the drink, but I have found that to be untrue. People are often concerned that metal straws will leave a metal taste when you drink out of them, and that is also untrue. Forks, knifes and spoons made of stainless steel don’t affect our food taste so why would stainless steel straws? Boom.
Writers note: Metal straws are my preferred option because they are so reusable and look great in any drink. Go ahead and Instagram your swaggy metal straw, and use the hashtag #stopsucking to raise awareness.
This link will take you to a couple different straw options. You can buy sets of 4 or 8, and can also purchase colorful silicon cover pieces for the straws. 2 brushes are included with your purchase of stainless steel straws.
Length options include:
- 9″ 8 mm
- 9″ 12mm
- multiple size pack
These straws have a diameter or 1/4 inch making it comparable to the classic plastic straw we have all become accustom to.
Works great with 20-40 oz tumblers.
Set of 5 bent stainless steel straws.
These straws are larger in diameter making them ideal for thicker liquids such as milk shakes, thicker smoothies or protein shakes.
Big plus with these bad boys, they are dishwasher safe!
Writers Tip: Rinse straw directly after using to prevent anything from gettig stuck in the straw.
Cleaning brush is included.
This set includes:
- Four straws
- Two hand crafted wooden traveling case
- Traveling bag
- Two straw cleaners
Each wooden traveling case can hold one straw and one brush, making it convenient to take with you. Use these eco friendly straws at restaurants, bars and anywhere else in-between you would normally use a straw.
These straws are easy to clean, easy to carry and make great gifts. Fits great in the cup holder of your Prius.
This Set includes:
- 2 Pcs -10.5″ straight straws
- 2 Pcs -9.9″ bent straws
- 2 Pcs- 8.5″ straight straws
- 2 Pcs- 7.9″ bent straws
- 2 Pcs Brush
- 1 Pcs- Carry bag
These straws have a length of10.5inch/9.9″ inch/8.5″inch/ 7.9″ inch.
Outer Diameter: 1/4 inch(6mm).
Great set for those who want a variety in their straw lengths, with a mixture of straight bendy straws.
You can choose from all silver, multicolored or a mixture of both.
Silicone tips can also be found with this link![su_divider divider_color=”#46bff9″ size=”6″ margin=”30″]
Paper straws are hands down the prettiest straw alternative option. You can’t log onto any social media platform now a days without seeing those kick ass paper straw designs. They come in fun colors and bold patterns, making any drink a picture perfect party drink.
Whats even better than all the fun designs? The fact that paper straws are biodegradable and compostable. Paper straws are typically a one time use and you are good to recycle them.
Some paper straws get wet fast and crumble easily, but below I have linked some great straws that will stand up to those sneaky liquids.
These rainbow stripe straws come in a 200 pack!
Stripe straws come in:
- Light blue
Straws are biodegradable and are made with food safe ink.
Rainbow paper straws are 7.75″ long, with a 0.25″ diameter.
These floral paper straws come in a 75 pack.
Width of these floral straws are larger than most, allowing liquids to flow more easily through them.
Paper made to make these are a bit stronger, making them more reliable.
Item dimensions are 7.75 x 0.25 x 0.25 in.
This pack comes in a 100 count and 4 different patterns.
Straws measure 7.75 inches x .25 inches in diameter.
Rave reviews on these straws holding up great in liquid.
This pack comes in 125 piece set.
Animal print designs include:
- Black Cow Print
All animal print paper straws are FDA approved.
Measures 7 3/4″ Long.
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Bamboo Straws are a biodegradable alternative to paper straws. Bamboo straws can be a one time use, or if cured can be used over and over. They’re a natural alternative to polluting plastic straws, and are the only straws certified organic.
Bamboo straws are made from, duh, bamboo making them tough and sturdy. They don’t fall apart when they get wet and are long lasting. Bamboo straws are an eco-friendly option.
Durable, beautiful and full of nature are all adjectives used to describe bamboo straws. A well made bamboo straw is easy to clean by simply washing them with the rest of your dishes. To deep clean bamboo straws bowl vinegar water and drop the straws in there for a few minutes. You should do this about once a month.
Eco-friendly bamboo straws are fun, earth friendly and reliable.
Bamboo used to make these straws are grown in Bali and crafted by local balinese artisans. A great organic and natural alternative to plastic straws.
This set comes with different circumference sized straws, allowing you to use them with different beverage consistency.
These straws can be washed by hand, boiled in water or can be thrown in the dishwasher.
When you follow this link you can choose between 18pc mix or a 14 pc mix or a mix of both.
Each mix contains 3 different straw lengths.
Each straw is high pressure steamed to kill any microorganism or parasites that could be lurking in the wood.
A straw brush is included with each set purchased.
Buluh bamboo straws come in a pack of 8.
These straws contain no dyes or inks.
Hand crafted in Bali, this set comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Comes with a cleaning brush and carrying pouch.
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Glass straws are a reusable straw option, and is the only straw option that can be backed by a lifetime guarantee. Glass straws are BPA-free, hypoallergenic and the colors are non-toxic.
Many glass straw companies will replace any broken or damaged straws. These companies want to work with people to help leave this earth better than we found it!
Glass straws can be clear, colored and come with fun gems attached to them.
Glass is a preferred material to drink out of over all the other straw materials offered.
Straight glass straws.
Hummingbird straws can be compared to pyrex bowls, made from borosilicate glass that is shatter-resistant.
These straws are made in the U.S.A.
Straws can be hand washed or can be put in the dishwasher.
Top rated clear glass straw, with a 95% customer review rating of a perfect 5/5 stars!
Set of 4 bent straws.
Straws come in blue, orange, yellow and green.
Made from pyrex-glass.
Straws can be used for hot or cold drinks.
Measures 9 inches to the bend and then another 3 inches from the bend up.
Great for drinks 16oz and above.
These straws come in a set of 4.
Straws come in clear, blue, amber and green colors, with shite flowers.
Made from BPA and lead free glass.
Straws can withstand temperatures of over 400 degreesFahrenheit.
Rims are curved making them comfortable to drink out of.