Every time you order a drink with a single-use straw, you are adding additional plastic waste into an already polluted environment. One of the easiest ways to reduce your waste and prevent this plastic from entering the environment is to use a reusable drinking straw.
Perhaps you have seen reusable drinking straws before and are more curious about them. Or maybe you are already an avid eco-friendly conscious reusable drinking straw aficionado, either way, you have come to the right place.
So, what are some benefits of reusable drinking straws?
It’s estimated that nearly 390 million plastic straws are used in just a single day in the United States alone. Since single-use straws are made from a plastic that is not recyclable and is often too small to get sorted at recycling centers, they end up sitting in landfills. Each day we are only adding to our plastic pollution problem.
Reusable straws beat out single-use plastic straws hands down as the more eco-friendly option. Say goodbye to single-use plastic straws that you have been using for a lifetime. Enter the reusable drinking straw.
A reusable straw reduces your plastic waste output and prevents what would otherwise be another piece of toxic plastic from entering the environment.
2. Reduce Your Plastic Waste
By reducing your waste you are doing your part as a global citizen in helping the worldwide issue of plastic pollution. From plastic toothbrushes to straws, all types of single-use plastic are filling up our landfills and polluting our oceans at an alarming rate.
I love to consume a good cup of coffee on the go. Whether I have made my coffee at home or have ordered it from a popular coffee spot, I always choose to refuse the straw. Equipped with a reusable straw, uttering the simple words “no straw please” is much easier. Over a lifetime, this will reduce your overall plastic waste and environmental impact.
3. Protect Marine Life
Unfortunately, single-use straws will end up in landfills or into our oceans. Marine life such as birds or sea turtles can easily mistake plastic straws for food. As a result, they end up swallowing the straws or other bits of plastic which have harmful end results due to the toxicity of plastic.
In larger oceans such as the Atlantic or Mediterranean, avoiding plastic for these marine animals is nearly impossible with plastic pollution growing year by year. Most of the plastic that is polluted in the ocean was in somebody’s hand at some point, which means it could have been prevented.
4. Portable and Easy to Use
Did I mention that reusable straws are super easy to carry around? Each straw is no more than two ounces and can easily fit in a bag or purse. Some brands even offer carrying cases or handy storage containers for their straws.
I take my reusable straw with me most places I go. This way I can easily refuse the single-use plastic straw. You can get a reusable straw that fits perfectly with any beverage tumbler for those long trips in the car. While at work, you can pair a reusable straw with any cup for both hot and cold coffee.
This is a no-brainer. Use your reusable straws over and over again.
A high-quality reusable straw made from a durable eco-friendly material will last you months or even years in some cases. This will, of course, depend on how frequently you use them and with which liquids. To ensure the longevity of your reusable drinking straws, be sure to follow proper cleaning, care, and storage guidelines. Reuse them at home or on the go. They make great eco-friendly gifts for friends and family.
6. Better Tasting Beverages
Did you know the material of the utensils we use for food has an effect on our taste experience? Studies have shown that psychologically our perception of good-taste will be higher with a real metal spoon than a plastic spoon.
A good beer or wine should be drunk from a good glass rather than a plastic cup. The same goes for tea, coffee, and fresh juice. Compliment the beverages you enjoy most with a reusable straw made from high-quality, eco-friendly materials to enhance your overall taste experience.
7. Safe Straws
Single-use plastic straws used to be made with a plastic called polystyrene, the same material used to produce styrofoam, which has been known to leach toxins into food and drinks, especially at higher temperatures. Now, more producers make single-use plastic straws with polypropylene or polyethylene, which are less toxic but are produced on a large scale using high amounts of petroleum.
Chemicals often found in plastics such as BPA (Bisphenol-A) and phthalates have been linked to a number of reproductive problems in laboratory animals. The evidence for humans is still inconclusive, but it’s a risk that consumers and producers don’t want to take. Health advocates advise not to reuse single-use plastics, as they can be more likely to leach chemicals into our food and drinks.
If you have little ones, a reusable drinking straw is a much more comfortable and safe choice for those learning how to drink on their own. They also make for a fun way to encourage drinking certain beverages and can raise eco-friendly awareness for your children.
8. Easy to Clean
Despite what you may be thinking, reusable straws are a breeze to clean. The majority of brands offer cleaning brushes or kits that come included with your reusable straws, so getting any residue that’s on the inside of your straw will be easy. Just make sure your cleaning brushes fit the length and diameter of your reusable straws.
A simple rinse with warm water and soap and a quick scrub with the brush on the inside of the straw will suffice. Most reusable straw materials are dishwasher safe, so you can also throw them in afterward for an extra sanitization. You see, cleaning doesn’t always have to be painful!
Reusable straws come in many eye-catching colorways and styles. They are produced using different eco-friendly materials, including stainless steel, glass, copper, silicone, and bamboo each having their own pros and cons. They also are available in several different diameters and lengths depending on your drink of choice. For smoothie or milkshake drinkers, a wider diameter is recommended. For coffee or juice drinkers, thinner diameters will do just fine. I encourage you to try several different materials and sizes to see which best suits your needs.
Whether you are throwing a party or sipping a coffee on the go, a reusable drinking straw has a perfect balance of form and function. You will surely get comments from your friends which is a great opportunity to raise awareness on your reasons and the environmental impact of single-use plastics.
10. An Affordable Alternative
Reusable straws are a great deal and light on the wallet. Most brands range from $5-10 with some sets going up to the $15 range. Each set will generally contain 4-12 pieces along with a cleaning brush kit or carrying/storage case included. Keep in mind the material and amount of straws you choose will affect the price.
Since they are long-lasting, you won’t find yourself needing to purchase new sets due to overuse. In fact, you will probably love them so much you will want to try all the different types that are out there!
Make the Simple Switch
It’s comforting to know that some local businesses and municipalities have made the effort to ban single-use plastic straws. Bigger coffee chains are also beginning to offer plastic cups that can be drunk straw-free. Although this is not the complete solution to the problem, it is a small step forward.
As a consumer, I encourage you to take an even bigger step forward. Make the simple switch. The simple switch from single-use plastic straws to reusable straws is not only a fun and exciting way for you and your family to do your part in helping protect the environment but also a gateway into other alternatives for eco-friendly living.