Iris Olde Bijvank - May 11 2020
Which Reusable Straw to use best?
Since you found this blog, I assume you are looking for plastic straw alternatives or thinking about it. Maybe you already have reusable straws in your home or you try to find out what straws will be your best choice. By now almost everybody knows single-use straws are bad for the environment, you find them in the most unusual places and they pollute our parks, seas, and beaches. Animals, mostly seabirds, fish, and other marine life, die if they mistakenly see a straw for food.
Why use straws?
Benefits. There are multiple benefits like less staining and erosion on your teeth. You can prevent sensitive teeth if you use straws or reduce the pain if you already have it. Acid and sugary drinks can cause cavities and a straw limits the contact a drink makes with your teeth. I drink my smoothies with a straw to protect my teeth. (And it looks fancy).
It starts with your attitude
Companies, like Starbucks, are starting to ban plastic straws and a law in California prohibits full-service restaurants to automatically hand out plastic straws. If the customer wants one he has to ask for it. All good changes, but the best change starts with our own attitude. Why be dependent on companies, laws, and decisions of others? Take action and refuse the plastic straw right when you order. You most likely do not get another chance and prevent that they stick in a straw automatically.
On the go? At home you easily grab a reusable straw out of the drawer, but what if you are on the road? My solution is to always have a straw in your car or purse. That way you are prepared for a spontaneous trip to a restaurant. I have my straw in a pouch together with my bamboo utensils. Very convenient in one place, protected from breakage and it stays clean.
Glass straw in a mason jar lid
Your Options. Your options for reusable straws are stainless steel, bamboo, and glass. I tried them all. Silicone straws are not taken into consideration because they do not last that long, are not compostable, and are not easily recycled.
Stainless steel pros: - almost impossible to break - dishwasher safe - recyclable - long lifespan
Stainless steel cons: - hard and sharp edges, risk of injuries. - can’t see if they are clean, risk of mold - conducts heat, not for hot drinks - be careful if you have metal allergies
Bamboo pros: - natural and compostable - does not conduct heat or cold
Bamboo cons: - not dishwasher safe - can’t see if they are clean also hard to clean, mold risk - can’t stay in the water too long, they soften or crack - limited lifespan - can have sharp edges
Glass pros: - dishwasher safe - Easy to clean and see if they are clean - For hot and cold drinks, but still, be careful with hot beverages - Comfortable and round edges - Recyclable - Long lifespan
Glass cons: - can possibly break (check lifetime warranty)
Besides these pros and cons you want to check if food-grade stainless steel is used and if you are looking for colored straws if the paint used is non-toxic.
Glass is our favorite. Why? They drink very comfortable due to the round edges and are wide enough to be used with smoothies. Super easy to clean and you can see if they are clean, which is not possible with stainless steel or bamboo straws. Who wants to have build up in their straw? The straws are made in California by Simply Straws, a wonderful USA company that gives a lifetime warranty. They are made out of borosilicate glass, which is the strongest glass available. In the unlikely event a straw breaks then Simply Straws gives you a replacement.