Grasping at straws: reusable, natural or naturally reusable

The European Union recently voted in favour of banning single use plastics by 2021, including drinking straws. Today, we show some sustainable alternatives for people who want or need to use straws.

Single-use plastics are plastics meant to be only used once or for a short time, and include plastic bags, cotton swabs, and straws. The EU decided that these products have sustainable alternatives available. Together, these disposable products make up 70 per cent of ocean plastic. Straws are especially annoying, as they cannot be recycled.

There are various metal straws on the market, but one of the most ingenious versions is FinalStraw. This collapsible stainless steel straw comes with a case made from post-consumer recycled plastic that you can use as a keychain so you’ll always have a straw with you. When taking the straw out of the case, it self-assembles and you’re ready to suck.

Another interesting example is The Last Straw, a bendable straw made from stainless steel.

Another straw that’s easy to take with you is nOcean, made from silicone and surgical steel. The flexible straw can be worn as a bracelet. The steel tip is slightly curved, similar to bendable single-use straws. In addition, 50 per cent of the profits go to cleaning up the ocean. They even offer a cover to keep the straw clean on the outside.

Glass drinking straws are reusable and have an elegant look. Of course, like all glass products, you have to be careful not to drop them.

Paper straws are not new; they were used before plastic straws came to the market. The downside of these straws is that they aren’t really liquid-proof, at least not for a long time.

Avocado seeds
The Mexican company Biofase makes disposable products, including straws, from avocado seeds. They use waste seeds from guacamole and avocado oil companies and turn them into biopolymers. The straws contain 70 per cent biomass and are either compostable or biodegradable.

Not just sustainable, but edible! Straws from Loliware are made from a seaweed-based material, which after used can be consumed to leave no waste.

Ice straws
If you really want to look cool, have you considered ice straws? Barbuzzo, for example, offers a silicone tray in which you can make you own.

Straws made from straw, it seems so obvious. Harvest Straws, for instance, makes their straws from the stalks of grain, also known as straw. The straws are cured, sanitised and ready to use. Hay Straws are also made from wheat stems, as a biodegradable alternative to plastic straws.

Finally, another natural, but also reusable alternative to single use straws are bamboo drinking straws. One only has to hollow out a stalk to have a durable straw, or buy one of the options on the market.

Photo credits: see photos