“Stop being a Sucker!” The best way to STRAW SWAP the ECO-FRIENDLY way…
If you’ve read my blog post ‘3 Tips when deciding to go Plastic Free’ (If not I encourage you to read it by clicking on the title) you’d know that the 1st step I took in reducing my personal plastic use was doing a straw swap the eco-friendly way… and you’ll be glad to hear, it is an EASY PEASY change to make, that anyone can do!
Just what’s the problem with plastic straws???
Some may ask why are plastic straws an issue? Esp if they are a person who isn’t up to date with all things climate change or take much of an interest into issues affecting wildlife. However, there are plenty of reasons to do this because of the risk and damage it causes to humans – so because of that care about yourself and your loved ones, instead of the planet or animals, then maybe your question might change from “Why?” to “How?”
Why you should stop using plastic straws?
Here are some ‘plastic problems’ with straws:
Did you know that BPA in plastic releases synthetic estrogen, causing lots of health risks to humans?
Did you know most plastic straws are made out of polypropylene? A petroleum-based plastic requiring fossil fuel extraction – adding to C02 levels & climate change.
Did you know that 1 single plastic straw takes 200 years to decompose?
Did you know plastic straws are responsible for injuring & killing wildlife, esp endangered sea turtles, as they litter oceans?
Deciding to change your straw may feel small, but when all the straws you use add up, then they can make a damaging amount and that is just 1 persons use.
I was as guilty as anyone, with straws in my daily smoothies as I drank the not so nice tasting green smoothies better with a straw & asking for straws in public bars/restaurants so I don’t have to put my mouth on glasses etc. That is more than 365 straws I would use in a year! Yes I would put them in my recycling bin at home but most straws don’t make it through the recycling process they end up in landfills and oceans. I was determined to play my small part in the grand scheme of things.
It is estimated that Americans use 500 million plastic straws every single day!
Now I use USA as the example as in the US it is more automatic that drinks are served with straws in, where as in the UK you mostly have to actually ask if you want 1 or take 1 yourself from the straw holders openly available on many bar tops. However, majority of these plastic straws used all over the world don’t get recycled and can end up clogging up our coastlines instead.
HOW to change to an eco-friendly straw instead of plastic straws:
Well once I decided I needed to make a change I researched online, entering into searches things like “eco friendly straws” and surprisingly found quite a few options;
- Bamboo Straws
- Stainless Steel Straws
- Glass Straws
- Titanium Straws
- Silicon Straws
- Paper Straws
Materials I didnt even think of, such as paper which sounded funny to me as it would be getting wet, I wouldn’t imagine paper straws being strong enough not to go floppy when wet & break. But that’s what straws used to be made of before plastic anyway!
I chose not to go for the experiment of paper and I went with a stainless steel straw & i’m more than happy with it – it’s easy to use, dishwasher safe or like me you can buy straw cleaner brushes too!
Just how many plastic straws will stop being used if you replace it with an eco-friendly non plastic straw?
“Eco Straw” who are an american company making glass straws. have a cool status bar at the bottom of their website telling you how many straws they have sold and the estimated amount of plastic straws those purchases have stopped being used.
Where can I find these eco-friendly plastic alternative straws?
There are so many options: different height straws, different colours, large smoothie straws, bent straws, straight straws, brushes and straw sleeves for transportation. For a more in depth guide on specific companies and specific straws then “The Last Plastic Straw” have a great resource list (just click their name to go to it).
If you want a straw that’s closest to the ‘normal’ plastic straws usually offered then “Eco Products” sell compostable straws that are made from a plant based plastic. they even sell them individually wrapped for taking out with you or if you cater or own a business selling beverages maybe this is something you could investigate further.
Or for those of you who enjoy DIY then there are plenty of youtube videos on how to make your very own paper straws. Visit my Pinterest Board to watch a video “How to make paper drinking straws” There is a great hands on science lesson there to share with children too!
Which eco-friendly material you use instead of the plastic straw is up to you – we all have different preferences.
Some may even buy a selection of mixed material eco-friendly straws…
- A large glass 1 for your morning smoothies at home
- A portable stainless steel straw in its own holder bag to leave at your parents house when you pop in for a drink and a chat
- Individually wrapped eco-friendly straws to carry around with you wherever you go
With a deeper online search you will even find fun & creative, colourful straws for children too!
This really is a EASY PEASY change we can all make and all those little changes together can add up to make a huge difference! We are in this together – so please join me and STRAW SWAP the ECO-FRIENDLY way…
Why not now read my blog ‘3 Tips when deciding to go Plastic Free’ (click blog title to go to post)