Best alternatives to plastic straws in 2021: Everything you need to know

2021-05-26 11:29

Plastic is no doubt a very useful product and since its invention gained a lot of popularity. Plastic made a wide range of items cheaper and easier to produce. We can now see plastic things everywhere, in offices, on streets, and in our homes.

We all use plastic kitchen tools, household appliances, it is in our computers and smartphones. You can also see how popular plastic straws are since they are literally everywhere. This article is an adaptation of this in-depth resource about eco-friendly alternatives of plastic.

What are the main problems with plastic straws?

Plastic is well-known to be very harmful to the environment, and all plastic straws will eventually release the chemicals into the ground, air, and water. It is very dangerous to people, birds, animals, plants, and the environment in general. According to research, there are more than a million seabirds, as well as over 100,000 animals, that are killed every year from plastic contamination in the oceans.

A growing number of seabird species, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and fish are being observed with plastic contamination around their bodies and inside of them. There are also a number of risks to human health linked with microplastics. Since plastic straws are one of the most popular single-use plastic objects, they are among the main culprits of excessive plastic pollution.

What can be a better alternative to popular plastic straws?

Most people are now aware of the harmful consequences of single-use plastic straws, so a lot of companies start seeking replacement products in a form of non-plastic straws. Besides trying to use only environmentally friendly drinking straws instead of plastic ones, you should avoid using straws at all to help preserve our environment. Now, everyone can easily get information about non-plastic drinking straws on the internet and buy them online.

There are several kinds of environmentally friendly straws that can potentially replace commonly used plastic ones. There are single-use and reusable kinds of straws such as glass, bamboo, inox, grass, rice, paper, etc. Each kind has its own pros and cons.

Reusable straws

Reusable straws are the ones that can be safely used many times, and you will have to clean them after each use. There are several types of reusable straws:

  • Clear glass straws. Drinking straws can be made from glass, and there are several sizes and a lot of visual options. But they are only suitable for family or private use since they are fragile. You also need to be careful when using them with hot drinks.
  • Bamboo straws. Straws made from bamboo can be reused, though they are hard to clean and preserve.
  • Silicone straws. These straws are a great option to replace plastic straws. Silicone straws can be safely reused, but the biggest problem is that you can’t efficiently recycle them after use.
  • Metal straw. Straws made of metal are similar in their properties to the glass straws and can be reused. The main issues are the high price and the fact that they can potentially cause burns with hot drinks.
  • Carbon fiber straws. These are perhaps the best-looking ones but extremely expensive. They are reusable and easy to carry thanks to the very low weight.

Reusable straws are great for environmental protection but are also only suitable for personal use and require time to clean and store. For cafes and restaurants, reusable straws are not the best option as customers are usually concerned about the sterilizing process.

Single-use straws

Single-use straws can be used only one time, and are suitable for both public catering and personal use. Let’s take a look at which single-use straws are available on the market:

  • Paper straws. This kind of straws is easy to find since it is one of the first products that was intended to replace plastic straws. They are very cheap and are available in a wide range of sizes. But they have the shortest using time of all straws and often have some chemical additions to help make them more robust.
  • Rice straws. These straws are edible and rather new. They look good but have the same problem as paper straws with a short time of use. They also dissolve in water and can change the taste of your drinks.
  • Cane straws. Straws made from cane are also a pretty good replacement for harmful plastic straws. But sometimes they need adhesive chemicals to be added during the production process.
  • Wheat straws. This is a very good product, made only from perfectly natural wheat, and is fully compostable. The only problem is that they only come in small sizes.
  • Seaweed straws. These straws are made from 100% seaweed and are perfectly safe, but usually, it is hard to find them on the market.
  • Ice straws. It can be hard to imagine, but straws made from ice actually exist. The obvious problem is a short time of use but you should definitely try them when the possibility arises.
  • Pasta straws. These straws are pretty similar to the ones made from rice and have pretty much the same pros and cons.
  • Grass straws. This kind of straws is made from the sort of grass called Lepironia articulata, which grows mainly in Southeast Asia, and especially abundant in Vietnam.

Lepironia articulata is a kind of grass that is growing in Mekong Delta, south of Vietnam and you can find suppliers such as There are several companies in Vietnam that provide these straws to the market.

What kind of non-plastic straws is the best?

It depends on your personal requirements and whether you need single-use straws or reusable ones. You can help protect the environment by changing your habits and together we can make our planet a better place. Overall, the grass straws are perhaps the best ones right now, since they are:

  • 100% natural and made only from grass
  • Fully biodegradable
  • Do not have any added plastic or chemicals
  • Safe for your teeth
  • Do not alter the taste of your drinks
  • Do not harm the forest
  • Single-time use
Source: Move to Asia