5 Alternatives to Plastic Straws
Plastic Straws are one of classic examples of single use plastics. More than 500 million straws are thrown away each day in the U.S. alone(1). Majority of these straws are made from Polypropylene, a material which degrades slowly, and along with other items smaller items are quite difficult to recycle. As a result, straws always end up in a landfill or damaging our oceans and marine wildlife. This article provides a curated list of alternatives of plastic straws.
1. Bamboo Straws
Refuse the plastic straw and opt for the hand-made reusable, biodegradable bamboo straws instead. These are 100% Natural, chemical-free, odour and stain resistant and can last for up to 1-2 years with normal use.
Light-weight, usable by both Kids and adults. Easy to clean, they can be shaken clean with soap and water. The package comes with a handy cleaning brush to wash them out for years of use.
2. Stainless Steel Straws
These straws are made of food-grade stainless steel and reusable, non-toxic. These are also eco-friendly as they can be reused after cleaning with brush , or sterilised in boiling water. Ability to sterilise in boiling water, comes in handy, particularly when straws are to be used by small children. The packet comes with cleaning brush to make cleaning hassle free.
Based on your choice of product, these straws also come in bent-shape.
3. Copper Straws
These straws are usually made from 100% copper with additional application of a food-safe lacquer that resists tarnishing for lasting beauty and lustre. As copper is naturally antibacterial in nature and helps our different body parts to function smoothly.
These should not be put inside microwave & also avoid using these straws with for hot beverages.
4. Paper Straws
The Paper Straws are made from 100% biodegradable and food safe paper and soy-based ink. Being single use (use & throw), there is no need to wash, sterilise or clean and can serve as excellent alternative to plastic straws. In terms of cost, paper straws though costing more than plastic straws yet they are far cheaper than steel, copper or bamboo straws.
However, being made from paper they tend to degrade (dissolve) when kept in liquid for long time. Being bio-degradable, single-use and cheap, Paper straws have come across as great way to decorate and enhance parties & events.
5. Edible Plant Based Straws
The edible plant based straws are usually made from wheat flour, rice flour, sugar along with natural flavouring ingredients. The straws are edible, biodegradable and work really well with smoothies, shakes, juices and mock-tails.
Yes, that is right. One of the best way to keep plastic straws out of landfills is not to use them. All the above alternatives do lack one or the other features, comfort provided by the plastic straws but until we find an alternative that works for everyone & every case, we can’t get rid of them entirely. Till that time, we can surely, try and develop a habit to avoid plastic straws until they are absolute necessary.
NEXT in Line:
Apart from these alternatives that have already hit the market & growing in use. There are also some exiting products on the way:
- Rice Straws
- Wheat Grass Straws
- Glass Straws
- Edible Hay Straws made from natural wheat
- Seaweed-based straw
- Papaya leaf stems