Since it’s Plastic Free July,
I want to talk to you about a really easy way to start ditching the plastic. If you’ve been a reader of my little blog for a while then you’ll know that I’m on the path to try and lead a more ethical and eco-friendly life. If like me you have kiddies in your house you’ll know the nightmares of having to have straws in the house for them to drink their drinks with, we used to always have those single use plastic straws until I found out the impact they can have on our planet.
The UK consumes approximately 8.5 billion plastic straws per year. This equates to an average citizen using 130 straws per year, and compared to other European countries, this figure is remarkably high.
When you are ordering a drink, you might not realise the bigger picture that exists behind the straw. There are currently 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic in the world. Seven percent of this consists of plastic straws by the piece. The UK contributes 4.93 million tonnes of plastic waste each year of which 3,570 tonnes of straws.
While the majority of the straws are made of polypropylene, which is a recyclable material, most straws do not even enter the recycling process. Without this recycling process they take up to 200 years to decompose.
So I decided to ditch the plastic single use straws and swap to straws that not only will last much longer, but ones we can take out with us when we’re on our travels. If you are looking to start ditching the plastic this one really is the easiest to do and a great place to start. So, what are the alternatives to plastic straws??
Let’s start with paper. The main use for these ones is for when you need a large number of straws for one occasion, like if you’re throwing a party. A bonus is that they are pretty inexpensive to buy in a big pack. So next time you’re throwing a party, reach for the paper straws instead of the plastic ones. The only downside to this option is that they are still a single use item. After each use, they all have to be disposed of, which don’t get me wrong is a great single use alternative but how do we actually know that our local councils are recycling them??
Bamboo Straws like these from *White Springs are one of my favourites and I will always take one of these out with me. Bamboo is grown naturally without pesticides and Bamboo straws are made without the use of dyes, inks or preservatives. They are reusable and with proper care and attention will last you many months. I’ve had mine now for about 8 months and I’ve only had to throw away 2 so far, they are 100% biodegradable and can also be composted. Bamboo is also BPA, Phathalate and PCP free, as it’s naturally grown no two straws will be the exact same and they vary in size and colour and may not be straight. For me these add so much character to them. You can use them to drink hot and cold drinks and they’re easily cleaned and are dishwasher safe. I bought mine from Amazon here for only £5.99.
Now having kiddie sin the house I’m not so keen on the idea of having these in the house but they’re great if you don’t have any kiddies. Because they’re glass, they’re transparent which makes cleaning much easier and I’ve also been told that they don’t have any weird taste to them. The downside and really off putting thing for me is that glass can smash and so you have to be so careful with them and you definitely can’t take them on the go with you.
Silicone ones are great because they come in a range of vibrant colours, ideal for kids. Silicone straws tend to be wider than paper and stainless steel options which makes them a great option for drinking thicker drinks like smoothies. They are also easily bendable which can make them very useful and it can also mean you could store your straw inside your reusable cup when you’re on the go. This is Mason’s favourite straw, especially when we’re on the go as it just folds up and is stored in the little box it comes with and because it’s quite compact it can easily be popped into a handbag or a baby change bag. Ours also has some stainless steel around it, but you can buy them without the added stainless steel.
Stainless Steel Straws
This is the favourite for keeping in the house, it’s also the most popular choice to have with reusable straws. They last for years and they come in so many amazing colours, ours are this lush rainbow effect and we have quite a few some are straight and some have the curve in the neck in them. We also have a few different sizes including quite large ones which are brilliant for when you have quite a thick milkshake to drink. These come with a really cute bag that you can use to pop them in and take on the go with you. These ones though stay at home and don’t tend to venture out with us at all.
As you can see I’ve listed 5 really great plastic straw alternatives and they’re all reasonably priced and affordable but so worth the investment. For how ever much you pay for them they will have paid for themselves in a matter of weeks because you will find yourself using them over and over. I have tried pretty much most of these out and our family have a few mixed favourites.
Will you be making the switch?? Which is your favourite reusable straw??
This post contains gifted items from White Springs which have been marked with *.
The company has provided the products for review but have not had any control of this post. All opinions are 100% my own.