With the surging images of marine wildlife’s being strangled by plastic, people rush to cut their plastic waste. One of latest movements is to get rid of disposable plastic straws. Many bills have been passed to ban the use of it in fast-food chains and restaurant as what is used in relatively short amount of time, maybe 5 minutes even, can take hundreds of years to decompose. Therefore, the alternatives are introduced.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right reusable straw so you don’t end up buying wrong ones.
Some materials used to produce these are stainless steel, bamboo, silicon, and glass. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Stainless steel, for instance, might not be suitable for elderly, kids, or disable as it can easily injure them. However, this material is sold in various eye-catching colors like rose-gold and rainbow, and is very strong, unlike glass straw that can easily break. You should totally avoid the latter material if you have a habit of chewing your straw. Moreover, since both stainless and glass are a good heat conductor, you might want to use them only with room-temperature or cold drinks.
Bamboo, on the other hand, is perfect for hot beverages, not to mention that it is biodegradable. The only downside is that is has a short lifespan, which is only around 6 months, and leave a little wood taste.
Last but not least, silicone can be a safer option since it is very soft and flexible. It is only deemed to be less attractive, especially because some drinks have a potential to stain or discolor it, making your straw appear old and/or dirty. But if you think this is still the right material for you, don’t forget to choose a food-grade one.
Size & Shape
The diameter of your straws can be adjusted with its use. Standard-sized one is usually used when drinking tea, iced coffee, or lemonade, while boba-sized is for your bubble tea, slurpee, or any drinks that have chunky toppings. I personally think you only need to have two; one wide and one boba-sized. And I choose wide-sized over standard one as it can also be used for smoothies and is easier to clean. The height of your straws might also vary, and some of people like it bent.
These types of straws sometimes come with a case or pouch for you to carry around. Fabric pouch is more environmentally-friendly but can be hard to clean so you might hesitate putting your used one back in. I suggest carrying an extra piece handkerchief to wrap the dirty one.
If it is too much trouble, you can opt for plastic or stainless cases. Just keep in mind that even though they are easier to clean, they can feel heavier and break.