The Best Alternatives To Single Use Plastic Straws!
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Americans use around 500 million plastic straws per day. That’s a ton of plastic waste that ends up in landfills as well as in our oceans. And since plastic is man-made, Mother Nature doesn’t know how to dispose of it—in other words, it’s not biodegradable.
And plastic straws are one of the worst single-use plastic offenders!
Plastic straws also leach chemicals—even the straws that claim they’re BPA-Free. These toxic chemicals mess with our hormones and cause long-term damage that can result in cancer, diabetes and many more health issues.
That’s why more people need to invest in, and start using reusable straws. They’re quite affordable, easy to clean, and come equipped with convenient accessories for travel and eating out. And when you purchase a reusable straw, that’s one less sea turtle with a plastic straw up its nose.
Reusable straws are an excellent way to contribute to a zero-waste planet, minimize environmental pollution, and keep our bodies safe and healthy. The most popular reusable straws come in four varieties: glass, bamboo, silicone and stainless steel, which we’ll go over in this article, as well as provide recommendations for the absolute best reusable straws in each genre!
Why Are Stainless Steel Straws Awesome?
While there are many types of reusable straws to choose from, a popular preference is stainless steel.
Stainless Steel is an iron alloy with added natural elements consisting of carbon, silicon, nitrogen, chromium, nickel and manganese.
Stainless steel straws that contain between 10% to 30% chromium are highly resistant to corrosion. That’s why stainless steel straws that are made of 18/8 grade or 304 grade stainless steel are the best purchase—they contain the right amount of chromium and nickel.
18/8 = 18% Chromium and 8% Nickel. 304 is about the same formulation.
Stainless steel straws are environmentally friendly, nontoxic, durable, don’t rust, and are dishwasher safe.
Types Of Stainless Steel Straws
All great quality stainless steel straws are made from food-grade stainless steel. They come in various sizes, width, and color. They can be straight, bent or telescopic—in other words, collapsible.
Many come with cleaning accessories such as stainless steel cleaning brushes, and travel accessories such as containers or cloth pouches. If you can find a cloth pouch that’s organic or made from hemp, that’s even better! We’ve actually recommended one in this article!
Some come with silicone tips (or sleeves) and some do not. If you’re buying some without sleeves, make sure that the edges are not sharp. Customer reviews will be pretty quick to point that flaw out.
The best part about stainless steel straws is affordability. They are extremely wallet friendly. Mostly all stainless steel straw sets are under ten dollars, but not all brands are equal! So, let’s take a look at some great quality brands below!
These reusable 8.5” straws by SENNENY are made from 18/8 stainless steel and come in a pack of 5 with two straw brush cleaners, five silicone “elbow” flex-tips and one travel pouch. They’re great for 20 ounce to 30 ounce tumblers, and perfect for all liquids, including smoothies. I personally own this set and wrote an honest review about them here.
These colorful reusable 10” straws by HIWARE come in a pack of 5 with two brush cleaners and one carrying pouch. These straws are all straight and wide enough for smoothies, bobas, and jumbo-size beverage containers—like the big gulps at gas stations.
These reusable stainless steel straws by U-Konserve come in a pack of 4 and they are perfect for small drinks like wine tumblers. They can be purchased on Earth Hero’s website (get 10% off with special coupon code: ECOMOMDIARIES).
This reusable stainless steel straw set by StrawExpert comes in a pack of 12 with various lengths, which is awesome because it gives you variety and you can use them with various size beverage containers. This set also includes 4 cleaning brushes and one draw string travel bag for on the go.
Why Are Silicone Straws Awesome?
There is such a hype about stainless steel straws that silicone straws aren’t being given the attention that they deserve. They’re the underdog in the reusable straw family.
Silicone straws are great for several reasons. Though they’re not biodegradable, they are eco-friendly and way safer for the environment than plastic because silicone is nontoxic. In fact, silicone straws are made of the same premium grade as pacifiers.
Silicone straws are also durable, and tasteless. Hence, unlike its metal straw allies, silicone straws don’t leave your tastebuds with a metallic aftertaste. Silicone straws come in bent, straight, snap and collapsible styles. They vary in length and diameter, and just like metal straws, they come equipped with convenient cleaning and travel accessories. Brushes, pouches and cases are typically included within the set.
Lastly, they don’t absorb heat! Unlike metal straws, they’re perfect for hot beverages!
Below is our top list of premium, food-grade, 100% BPA-Free silicone straws that won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, are easy on the wallet, and are so darn cute!
These 9.6” bent, pastel colored silicone straws by HIWARE come in a pack of 12. They’re long straws that are perfect for 20 ounce to 30 ounce tumblers, and each come with a really cute travel pouch and cleaning brush.
These food-grade silicone straws by FORI come in a set of 8 and they’re unlike any other reusable straw. These don’t require any special cleaning brush becaue they’re snap straws—which means they simply snap open for easy cleaning.
AMALKA + ALBERT
These adorable silicone straws by Amalka + Albert are made just for kids! They are made with food grade silicone and contain 4 little animal friends at each tip (which is great because it also helps kids keep track of their drinks, especially if they have siblings). They are around 7 inches in length and come with one cleaning brush.
This silicone straw kit by Sunseeke is awesome because you get 12 food grade silicone straws in various colors, two cleaning brushes and 4 travel cases! This kit is currently also under ten dollars, so if you’re looking for great quality reusable straws and you’re on a budget, this kit is it! You get so many!
What Makes Glass Straws Awesome?
Reusable glass straws are typically hand-made by artisans and made from 100% borosilicate glass, which makes them antibacterial, dishwasher safe, unbreakable and unscratchable. Plus, they can be used with both hot and cold liquids.
Glass straws are also tasteless—they do not leave your tastebuds with an after taste that metal straws tend to do, and can be melted down and recycled many times!
When choosing glass straws, look for a set that comes with eco-friendly accessories and travel cases that will prevent them from damage. Luckily, there are many companies that create sturdy travel cases from eco-friendly material such as bamboo, wheat straw, rice husks or hemp!
These reusable glass straws by Ecodesya measure 7.9 inches in length and 8mm in diameter. The carrying case is made from wheat straw which is incredibly durable and biodegradable. In addition to the travel case, this set consists of one straight straw, one bent straw, one mixing bar and one cleaning brush.
This glass straw set by Gaia Guy comes in a set of 4 along with two nylon straw cleaning glasses. The straws can be used for both thin and thick liquids such as smoothies. This set can be purchased at Life Without Plastic.
This glass straw kit by Simply Straws is perfect for an on the go lifestyle. It consists of one glass straw, one straw cleaner and a travel pouch made of hemp. Simply Straws is a 1% For The Planet Member, and this set can be purchased on Earth Hero (get 10% off with special code: ECOMOMDIARIES).
This glass straw set by ALINK comes in a set of 4 with two bent straws and two straight straws along with a straw cleaning brush. These straws are great for both thin and thick liquids like smoothies.
What Makes Bamboo Straws Awesome?
Bamboo straws are possibly the most eco-friendly reusable straws on the planet. Why? Because they’re hand-made from a highly sustainable resource and they are compostable/ biodegradable. And because the plant itself contains anti-fungal and antibacterial agents, no pesticides are ever needed. Hence, what you get is a certified organic and non-toxic plastic straw alternative that’s sustainable, non-toxic and eco-friendly.
While there are many fantastic and top notch bamboo straws out on the market, the brands chosen below are our top picks. They all contain three very crucial features that are required by most people: length and width variety, travel cases/bags and cleaning brushes. And if you have concerns about them breaking—don’t. Bamboo straws are incredibly durable, and can take a punch or two inside of any purse.
Here’s what’s great about Beetlemax reusable bamboo straws: they’re handmade and come in a pack of six with assorted sizes. Hence, you got your narrow straws for thin liquids and your wider straws for thicker liquids like smoothies, shakes and bubble teas. These straws come with one natural cotton drawstring bag, along with a cleaning brush and one durable bamboo travel case that fits up to three straws and cleaning brush whenever you’re traveling and on the go.
BRUSH WITH BAMBOO
This bamboo straw set by Brush With Bamboo is made from certified 100 percent organic bamboo stalk. This set includes three bamboo straws, one non-plastic agave-fiber straw cleaner, and one hand woven cotton bag made from 100 percent natural cotton. This kit can be purchased on Earth Hero (get 10% off with special code: ECOMOMDIARIES).
If you’re looking for a set of reusable bamboo straws that vary in length, look no further than this set by Baum Bueno. These hand-made bamboo straws come in a set of 10 and come in assorted sizes (5.8”, 8” & 9”). They’re 100 percent organic and come with two cleaning brushes and one drawstring bag for on the go travel.
This reusable bamboo straw set by Bambaw is certified organic and hand-made in Bali. This set includes 12 bamboo straws in two different sizes. Five of the straws are 5.1” in length, and the other 5 are 8.7” in length. They come with a natural cotton bag and a straw cleaning brush.
Which reusable straw do you use? Was your decision based on how it made your beverage taste? Let us know in the comments!
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Categories: Sustainable Living