Plastic bag bans swept major cities in the US and other countries in the last decade. The idea was preventing waste at the source, if you never acquire it, it won’t end up in a landfill. This same mindset is now being applied to the disposable straw. Though from first glance, a disposable plastic straw doesn’t seem like it makes a big impact on the environment, the true benefits of “say no to the straw” lies just beneath the surface. In this article we’re going to be diving into the rippling positive effects of the straw ban, and all of the best reusable straws you can use in their place!
10 Best Reusable Straws of 2018
Say no to the disposable straw, and say yes to one of the best reusable drinking straws on the market! We’ve highlighted the best stainless steel options, glass, organic bamboo straws, silicone, and some reusable plastic straw options for you as well.
Best Stainless Steel Straws
If you’re looking for a simple stainless steel straw that’s easy to carry around, check out these reusable drinking straws from Ecotribe that are accompanied by two beech wood cases. The cases will help keep them contained and clean between uses in your bag or backpack. Ecotribe also included 2 cleaners to make sanitation a breeze. All together, you’re getting 4 straws, 2 cleaners, and 2 wood carriers with one purchase.
If you’re looking for a little more from your stainless steel straws, Star-Fly makes some great options for you with silicone tips to make drinking more comfortable. The 10 pack comes with 5 straight straws, and 5 bent straws. It’s also accompanied by 10 soft tips and 2 straw cleaners. The bent options can be much more comfortable, and the silicone tips are a good option for sensitive teeth and children.
If you’re like me- bubble tea has been a recent obsession of yours, and you might want a better option than the large disposable plastic straws provided to you at BOBA stands. You can get two extra wide reusable bubble tea straws with a pipe cleaner, to use instead. They are food grade, high quality, and will handle tapioca pearl bubbles, thick smoothies, and malted milkshakes.
Best Glass Straws
Glass straws are another super option when it comes to reusable straws. Fresh360 brings you beautifully colored bent glass straws that are shatter resistant, affordable, and 100% environmentally friendly- from manufacturing to packaging. They are easy to clean, and come in a variety of colors to best fit your style.
A slightly more expensive but more secure option is this reusable drinking straw with a travel case and cleaner. The glass is durable and shatter resistant, and will work well in both hot and cold temp beverages. They are available in a ton of different colors on Amazon, although they are all under separate listings so you’ll have to do some clicking around.
Best Bamboo Straws
Our favorite options when it comes to reusable drinking straws, are bamboo straws! NaturalNeo uses organic bamboo to make their 8″ biodegradable, reusable straws. They are perfect for kids, since they won’t break easily and are light to carry around. Even the brush that comes with these straws is made from all natural coconut fibers!
Another plastic straws alternative comes from Primal Ethic, and are available in both 12 and 20 packs, in two different sizes. These high quality bamboo straws are narrow, and best for drinking normal beverages- not thick smoothies or shakes. You will feel great supplying these straws to your family and friends to help eliminate some of the plastic waste in their lives. These are definitely some of the best reusable straws around!
Best Silicone Straws
Silicone straws are a great option for more active individuals, children, and safe storage. Kitchen Up gives you 6 silicone straws in a drawstring pouch, with two bent stainless steel straws, and three cleaners. They are extra long, and perfect for 24-30 oz tumblers. Silicone straws aren’t the best for thicker drinks, but will be easy for coffee, lemonade, or just plain water.
These extra large silicone straws are great with many tumblers, and will help you conquer smoothies, shakes, and much more! Flathead Products stands by their product, and will give you your money back if you’re not 100% satisfied. They are bent, with an angled opening at the base to prevent clogging and improve suction.
Best Reusable Plastic Straws
If you still want to stick with plastic due to durability, kid proofing, or price, ALINK makes the best reusable hard plastic straws on the market. You can get a pack of 8 straws, with cleaners, for under $10. They are available in color packs, or clear, and come 4 straight and 4 bent in each order. The plastic is BPA free, durable, and dishwasher safe.
The Seattle Straw Ban and Beyond
The latest to hit the headlines in the “say no to the straw” movement, is the Seattle straw ban. Staying a step ahead of Portland, who has been in talks of implementing a straw ban for the past year, Seattle starts enforcing their new laws on July 1st. The Seattle straw ban will make the 5000+ eateries within the city limits quit providing disposable plastic straws and utensils to customers.
Considering the sheer number of restaurants, bars, and cafes that are in the city (I mean, it is the Starbucks capital of the world after all, and makes some of the best reusable straws and tumblers around), this is going to make a big dent on the amount of plastic waste that the city is having to deal with. Customers will still have access to compostable utensils and straws, paper straws, and reusable straws- our favorite option. The overall goal is to create less waste. And the straws and utensils are just the start of it.
How Can Banning a Straw Make a Big Difference?
There’s a chance you’re wondering what sort of impact straws and plastic utensils make on the environment, or perhaps you’ve heard commentary about it. Let me give you a personal example of how the plastic straw ban could impact the mindset of consumers in the Pacific Northwest.
I live in Oregon, and relocated to Eugene a while back, before I became invested in this site and began to actively shrink my carbon footprint. They’ve had a plastic bag ban in place for quite some time. It took some time getting used to at first, and I’d be lying if I said I never saw it as an inconvenience. However, after just a couple of years I saw how the plastic bag ban changed my shopping habits as a whole.
Even when I am in a town where plastic bags are allowed, I bring my own. If I’m at a store that offers complimentary bags (paper bags typically cost $0.05) I still use my own. If I only have a few items, or am headed straight to my car, I try not to take a bag. I’m no saint- but I doubt this would’ve been a change that we would’ve made so seamlessly if we hadn’t lived somewhere that had a plastic bag ban in place.
Apply this Thinking to Switching to the Best Reusable Straws
In turn, consider how many millions of people will pass through Seattle this year, and not have access to a disposable plastic straw or utensils. All of these people will be introduced into a new way of thinking.
- Do we really need this much dispensability in our day-to-days?
- How difficult is it to carry around a couple of reusable straws in your purse, laptop bag, or backpack?
- Do you eat out often, get coffee to go, or love a good cocktail with a plastic sword holding your olives?
Millions of other people do to. What may seem like a small amount of waste builds up very quickly.
More importantly, however, the mindset that comes with switching to reusable products, as well as more sustainable disposable items, can have long lasting positive effects. These changes can bleed into other areas of consumers’ lives and habits. And that’s just a start.
I don’t know anyone that can say that the current paper straws on the market are just as high quality as disposable plastic straws. And as you’ll notice below, there isn’t a plethora of innovative reusable straws available to consumers. The best reusable straws are a little on the spendy side, and are still sometimes challenging to bring along with you and keep them clean When we as a society shift away from wasteful products, it encourages innovation in new fields. It creates an opportunity for people to say “Hey, what else are we used to having that we don’t really need?” or “How can we make this better?”
So yes, as a society, plastic straw waste statistics might pale in comparison to the amount of plastic waste created by disposable bottled water, or other sources- but that doesn’t mean it’s not significant. Plastic is not biodegradable, and no matter how small it is on it’s own, it piles up quickly and will never be gone. We stand by the Seattle straw ban, the soon-to-be Portland straw ban, and many other companies and communities who are rethinking their waste creation.
Consider Reusable Straws
A great alternative to disposable plastic straws is getting a set of reusable ones for at home and on the go. There are stainless steel, toxic free plastic, bamboo, and a few other types of reusable straws out there. In the rest of this article, we’re going to review the best reusable straws that you should invest in. Then we’ll go over how to best use them i.e. how to clean reusable straws so that they won’t harbor bacteria.
How to Clean Reusable Straws
Here’s a quick video on how to clean reusable straws, coming from LiveLaughLoveMommy on YouTube.