Alternatives to disposable plastic straws save wildlife, as plastic straws are just the right size and shape to fall down storm drains and go into the sea (this rescued turtle with a straw stuck up his nose went viral (thankfully he was okay), leading to many people boycotting plastic straws.
Of course, you don’t need straws usually (but some people need to use them for medical reasons: if so, then you could possibly choose paper straws). And only use straws with cold drinks, to avoid burning your tongue. Also see travel sets with reusable straws.
Metal Drinking Straws
Shlurple Collapsible Drinking Straw folds down after use, and can be placed into its own wheat box. The straw itself is made from stainless steel, with a silicone inner-tube. Ideal for travel, it’s available in green or pink, or as a combo with a biodegradable reusable cutlery set.
One woman tragically died due to an accident with a metal drinking straw, which has led many people to be scared of them. Obviously avoid them for children or people with dexterity issues (as they don’t bend). But you should be fine if you avoid use while on the move (don’t use them with bottles or cups with lids, and always remove from cups, when not in use).
Bamboo Drinking Straws
Panda Bamboo Straws are made from sustainably-harvested organic bamboo, sold in a set of 6 or 12. They can be used in hot or cold drinks, just wash by hand leave to dry thoroughly (bamboo does not like water). Organically Epic sells a set of bamboo straws (with a cleaning straw), Eco Bru sells singular bamboo straws and for parties, Shlurple sells sets single-use bamboo straws.
Straws made from Wheat
- Just Straw makes sturdy straws from grain ‘ears’ leftover from the wheat harvest. These are trimmed and sterilised, and sturdier than paper straws (they are not designed for long-term use). Use for hot or cold drinks (they are not good for thick smoothies), then compost at end of use. They are ideal for parties (get in touch for larger orders). Not for wheat or gluten allergies.
- Stroodles are made from pasta, you can eat after use! They store up to 2 years, then last an hour in your drink, before biodegrading (unless you cook them up for dinner). The company say they are suitable for children over 3 (supervise). Again, not for gluten allergies.