Are Reusable Straws Better for the Environment?

  • By: Claire
  • Date: April 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Undoubtedly, eco-friendly straws are better for the environment. The absolute certainty that they get to be reused many times is valid enough to make them planet-friendly tools.

Plastic Straws

Disposable straws, and plastic in general, have become the environmental scourge everyone’s trying to deal with. As their name implies, disposable straws are disposed of after use. They can’t be recycled because they are too small for recycling plant machinery so almost all of them end up in landfills, incinerators and worst, floating in bodies of water. They are ingested by unsuspecting marine animals and have already caused several deaths in the marine life population.

In the US, 175 billion straws a year are used according to the study conducted by the National Park Service. Imagine the number of chemicals released into the soil, air and water. How about the natural resources wasted in order to manufacture them only to be thrown after. They continue to exist for hundreds, even thousands of years, long before we are all gone simply because they are non-biodegradable.

Various green organisations and national governments are taking actions against plastic straws. Many cities and public establishments around that world are banning them outright while some restaurants and food shops have chosen to replace plastic straws with paper ones.

Fortunately, raising awareness against plastic waste and disposable straws are starting to pay off even though there’s still a long road ahead. Many people are moving away from disposables and towards reusable ones.

Here are the reasons why they are better for the environment.

Made From Sustainable & Eco-friendly Materials

Glass, silicone, bamboo and stainless steel are the common materials used in making reusable straws. All of these materials have one thing in common: they are eco-friendly and sustainable.

Glass straws, if layered and tempered, will not break easily when dropped. Glass is an abundant material from sand and is considered sustainable by making sure that less natural resources are consumed.

Likewise, bamboo straws are made from a highly renewable and sustainable material: bamboo. They grow abundantly without any need for artificial irrigation and chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides. Reusable bamboo straws from a multitude of brands are fairtrade, meaning these producers pay living wages and support their workers’ communities.

Silicone straws, arguably the most popular reusable straws are also eco-friendly. Silicone is also a renewable material that can be recycled and is biodegradable. Upon decomposition, it breaks down naturally back original state: carbon, sand and water. We highly recommended checking out Eco Living’s 6 Silicone Straws – Extra Wide.

Stainless steel reusable straws are made from high-quality food-grade stainless steel. Some even incorporate flexible silicone tips like Klean Kanteen’s 5pc Straw Set Multicolored. These straws are sustainably made, safe and rust-proof. Additionally, stainless steel is a highly recyclable material, durable and pretty much indestructible. These types of straws are even super easy to clean and maintain although they come with some safety precaution. Do not use them when walking, running or driving a vehicle because they do not bend.

Washable Straws Are Chemical-free

On one hand, you have plastics straws that contain a lot of potentially harmful toxins and chemicals. Haven’t you noticed that a drink usually tastes like plastic when used with a single-used plastic straw? And that’s due to chemical leaching by plastic. They alter the taste and impart flavour. Furthermore, these chemicals like BPA or bisphenol-A disrupt hormone balance and are widely considered as carcinogenic.

On the other hand, reusable straws are free from chemicals and will never leach them into your drink and beverage. No wonder drinks taste way better when using a reusable straw.

Fewer Wastes Are Produced

Reusable straws are made to be used many times and will not be thrown after use. Even at the end of their life, they can be recycled or composted which means less waste is produced. From their production to their disposable, they have less carbon footprint compared to their disposable counterpart. Their positive impact on the environment and its resources could not be downplayed.

Improper disposal of plastic straws can result in a lot of environmental problems such as deforestation, global warming, marine life extinction and in the long run, biodiversity loss.

RELATED: Are Reusable Straws Safe?

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