Plastic pollution has become an ever increasing problem. According to Strawless Ocean we use more than 500 million plastic drinking straws a day. Since they take over 200 years to biodegrade they end up as tiny little micro plastic pieces that end up in our oceans and water supply. As the Great Plastic Garbage Patch increases each year due to our use of plastics its important to look at alternatives for plastic products.
In a 2015 study, Jambeck found that we are filling the oceans with an estimated 8 million tons of plastic every year, and that is expected to increase 22 percent by 2025. This scientific team reported that seventy-nine thousand tons of plastic debris, in the form of 1.8 trillion pieces, now occupy an area three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.
We can all make a difference by choosing alternatives to plastics. We can choose reusable shopping bags over plastic bags, glass storage containers over plastic wrap on bowls and glass water bottles instead of plastic bottles.
If you use straws you can also look at either biodegradable or reusable options.
So what does 500 million straws look like?
According to Ecocycle: 500 million straws could fill over 127 school buses each day, or more than 46,400 school buses every year!
500 million straws per day, is an average of 1.6 straws per person (in the US) per day. Based on this national average, each person in the U.S. will use approximately 38,000 or more straws between the ages of 5 and 65.
So if you want to give up plastic straws what options do you have?
There are numerous options including Stainless Steel, Borosilicate Glass, Natural Bamboo and Titanium.
Naturally Degradable Straws
Bamboo Straws-These are 100% Organic, BPA Free, Non-Toxic, and No Inks or Dyes.
Bambu Straws– Since these are made from natural bamboo they vary in size. These straws are handmade in Bali from whole bamboo which is a sustainable crop.
Harvest Straws-Harvest Straws are grown, harvested and cut by hand in Southern California from heritage, non-GMO grain grown without irrigation, using no chemicals in any part of the process
Lolistraws-These are straws made of candy in flavors like stawberry, cheery and apple.
Aardvark Straws-These jumbo straws are great for smoothies or thicker drinks. They are available in many fun colors.
Kikkerland–This brand offers straws in a variety of colors and patterns. The ink is soy based and food safe. The straws are coated with beeswax.
Eco at Heart-These beautiful stainless straws are safe for you and the environment. They offer a wide range of different designed smoothie and juice straws, as well as long and short straws.
Titanium Straws– These straws are made of food grade titanium.
Copper Straws– After each use, clean with warm water and soft soap. No hard chemicals or detergents.
Reusable Bent Glass Drinking Straws-This multi colored reusable glass straws make it easier to keep track of whose straw is whose.
Simply Straws-This fun site has lots of options for glass straws from skinny straws to straws for boba drinks. They also offer a Lifetime Guarantee against breakage that applies to their glass straws.
Straw Grace– These clear glass straws have color rings at the top. Great for families and determining whose straw is whose. these are BPA free, shatterproof and dishwasher safe straws.
Ice Straws-You can make your own straws in the freezer using these food grade silicone molds. The mold makes six, eight inch straws with whatever you liquid you like.
Silicone Straws– These straws are BPA free and made of food grade silicone. Clean with the included straw squeegee and these are dishwasher safe.
Buy Me Once-These silicone straws from Serphina’s Kitchen are reusable, BPA free, lead and phthalate free. They are easy to clean with the included brush or cleaned in the dishwasher.
If you use a reusable straw, you’ve got to clean them after each use. They are the perfect environment for nasty mold to grow. So be sure to clean your straws with the handy skinny brush that is included.
In addition you can soak your straws in a 50-50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water.