Right now, Americans use about 500 million plastic straws a day, most of which end up in the ocean. In an effort to cut that number down, Canada and other countries, states and cities have committed to ban the use of single use straws. But what’s a straw-loving person to do? Now that you might need to think of carrying your own straw for to-go coffees and movie theatre Cokes, (let alone high end cocktails at restaurants), we thought we'd weigh in.
As we move away from single-use plastic straws, we want alternatives. It's not enjoyable to get more ice or smoothie on your face than in your mouth when trying to drink strawless, and some drinks, like bubble tea, are almost impossible to drink without a straw.
If you search up eco-friendly alternatives, you'll face a lot of choices. From metal straws to bamboo, silicone to pasta. There are many factors that go into making a good decision.
First, what are you drinking? If you are going to use your straw in a hot beverage, glass will insulate the drink so you won't burn your lips.
While stainless-steel straws are the most ubiquitous alternative to the plastic straw, they’re far from perfect. Metal transfers heat, so sipping scalding coffee could mean scalding lips. They’re also strong and hard, and unless the ends are thick and rounded, could cause some damage if you were bumped while drinking from one.
Second, where are you drinking? Are you camping in the wilderness or having a coffee at Starbucks? Do you carry your straw to work or only use it at home?
If you are going to be traveling it might be a good idea to carry a metal straw. They are almost indestructible and can tuck easily into your backpack. If you're carrying your straw to work, you can zip it into our straw glasspouch and it will stay clean and safe. But if it's going to take a lot of abuse, metal or silicone would probably last longer.
Third, who is using the straw? Is it for a toddler or young child who isn't ready to handle glass? Silicone would be a great choice as they are soft and flexible, and can even be custom cut with a pair of household scissors.
For an older child, one of our critter straws would be fun (or the inner child in all of us). Minimalists would likely prefer a plain glass straw.
For home or work, I love glass best. First, I can see if it needs to be cleaned and second, I prefer drinking out of glass. I find that metal leaves a metallic taste in my mouth. Not everyone is sensitive to metal, but for those of us who are, glass is best. Easy to clean, elegant and eco friendly.