Last year I was given the opportunity to get a reusable straw for less than 50 cents after a coupon was given to me on an online site. That’s when I started my research into reusable straws and why they are all the talk. What I learned was crazy. Here are some quick facts that I learned when looking into the importance of reusable straws.
- It is impossible to recycle straws.
- The U.S. uses 500 million straws a day!
- Scientists predict that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
- Americans use straws at an average rate of 1.6 per day.
Think about the last time you used a plastic straw. Where did it go when you were done with it? I bet you didn’t bat an eye when you threw your straw in the garbage. Most people don’t. They just carry on with their day. I’ll be honest… that was me.
Many businesses have made alterations to their policies to enforce the straw-free lifestyle. Starbucks, for example, pledged to entirely remove plastic straws from their locations by the year 2020. They plan to replace straws with recyclable lids (pictured left). They also sell hard plastic cups that you can ask your order to be served in. You can bring those cups back and get all your future orders served in them as well.
I also noticed that my university has banned the distribution of plastic straws as well. It was super exciting to see the movement expand to my university of roughly 17,000 students.
Let’s do the math real quick.
1.6 straws used a day x 17,000 students = 27,200 straws prevented from entering our environment!
If every student at my university adjusted to the strawless lifestyle for only a day, we could prevent 27,200 straws from getting into our environment! And that’s just at my school. Do the math for your school and see how many straws your campus would eliminate if they converted!
When I pull my straw out of my purse or backpack, I get a lot of mixed reactions from those around me. I’ve had friends laugh at me and say I’m ridiculous. I’ve also had friends who encourage me and ask where they can get their own straws. It feels good to know that although I am only one person, I am making a huge impact on the people and environment around me.
I have two different styles of straws. I preferred stainless steel over paper, but that was just my choice. If you’re into paper straws, GO FOR IT! At the end of this article, I linked the straws that I use so you can purchase your own and get started on making the change!
The style that I was interested in first was the collapsible stainless steel straw with a hard case. It was really easy to throw in my backpack before school and it’s even attachable to a keychain. I found a better quality version of the one I have on Amazon and I decided to link that one rather than the one I have because there were some issues with mine when I got it. This type of straw is great for drinks with more of a watery consistency because the rubber inside makes it hard for thicker drinks to travel through. So if you’re one who is constantly on the go and drinking water, pop, or juice, check this straw out!
I also own stainless steel straws that are not collapsible, but they came in a pack of four with two different styles- bent and straight. These straws also came with a carrier, however, this one is made of cotton. They’re great for tumbler cups or Starbucks drinks if you’re one of those whose lives just won’t go on without a straw in their frappuccino. These straws come in packs of 4 and packs of 8, so you don’t need to wash one before using another. Each pack comes with at least one cleaning brush (depending on the pack you purchase).
If you STILL think adjusting your straw habits won’t make a change, watch this TEDx Talk by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff.
GET YOUR OWN STRAWS: