Eco Tip - Ditch the Single Use Plastic Straws
Apr 28, 2014
- They're not biodegradable.
- They're not BPA free.
- They are used in their millions every day. It’s estimated that McDonald’s alone uses 60 million straws per day, worldwide.
- They are the number one item washed up on beaches.
- You can only use them once.
- They’re not recyclable.
This doesn't mean that you need to give up drinking straws forever, though. There are alternatives!
Yes, you heard right. There are glass straws available. They look pretty cool, and because they're clear, you can easily see whether they're clean or not. However, being the mother of two boys who bit and chewed everything, I can completely understand if you're reluctant to give a glass straw to a child.
Biodegradable paper straws
Available in heaps of colours and designs, paper straws are a great disposable alternative to plastic straws. They're ideal for parties, and you can colour co-ordinate them to match your party theme. Paper straws are great. They’re biodegradable, so you don’t have the litter issues like you do with plastic straws. If they do get into the waterways, they break down. They’re naturally BPA free, so they’re better for our health. The problem is that these are still a single use item. They’re better because they’re biodegradable, but we’d be doing even better if we used the item over and over again.
Stainless steel straws
Which is where stainless steel straws come in! These will last forever, they can be washed in the dishwasher, they’re fully recyclable and they look pretty cool too. I think the only problem with these is that you can’t see through them for cleaning, but this is easily solved with a straw cleaning brush that you can just run up and down the straw. Easy peasy.
You can even buy drinking straws made from bamboo. They’re not particularly easy to find at the moment, but as bamboo becomes more popular, I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing more of them. Bamboo straws are great – they’re natural, they biodegrade, and bamboo grows very quickly and without pesticides. They’ll last for ages, and then you can compost them. What a great idea!
If you’re looking for alternatives to plastic straws, check out the range of reusable straws here at Hello Charlie.