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5 eco-friendly alternatives to plastic straws

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Georgina Wilson-Powell

1 October 2017

The world sips through 1 billion straws a day. Between the US and UK we get through over 550 million plastic drinking straws a day. 

Think about it, you use it for a few minutes supping a smoothie, sipping a cocktail or shoving in a can of drink. But straws suck. They take over 200 years to break down - and when they do, the tiny plastic microparticles end up everywhere from our food chain to our tap water. 

Ideally you'll stop sucking (read about the people who have convinced their communities to pass on plastic here) but if you can't here's our 5 best eco-friendly alternatives to plastic drinking straws.

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Bamboo straws are biodegradable and ecofriendly alternatives to plastic

Bamboo straws

Bambaw sell their bamboo straws on Amazon. These are reusable, biodegradable drinking straws, handmade in Bali from whole bamboo, which is an easy to grow, sustainable crop. These eco-friendly straws can be used in hot and cold drinks and they don’t taste of anything. A cleaning brush comes with every set of 12.


metal straws to replace plastic straws

Metal straws

Senhai sell a set of eight stainless steel metal straws - both straight and bent and what's more they don't come with any plastic packaging, which is what we're trying to avoid remember. They come in different colours, are dishwasher proof and come with two cleaning brushes.


Glass straws are recyclable and non-toxic and a better alternative to plastic straws

Glass straws

StrawGrace offer up handmade, incredibly hardy glass straws that come in packs of five. These pretty straws with coloured ends are BPA free, eco-friendly, dishwasher safe and shatterproof. Each packet comes with a year's guarantee - this is the same glass that's used in labs all over the world and in Pyrex dishes. Safe and strong.


Biodegradable paper straws make a good alternative to plastic

Paper straws

Kikkerland make every type of colour and pattern of paper straw you can think of, which makes a cheap and planet friendly alternative to plastic straws at a party, or for kids. The inks are soy based and food safe, the paper is biodegradable and coated with beeswax.


Silicone straws are better than disposable plastic straws

Silicone straws

Pick up silicone straws from Buy Me Once. Seraphina’s Kitchen make reusable coloured straws from silicone, we like the pastel colours. They’re all BPA free, lead and phthalates free and again you can clean them with the brush that comes with each pack or put them in the dishwasher.


Bamboo straws are biodegradable and ecofriendly alternatives to plastic

1 / 5

Bamboo straws

Bambaw sell their bamboo straws on Amazon. These are reusable, biodegradable drinking straws, handmade in Bali from whole bamboo, which is an easy to grow, sustainable crop. These eco-friendly straws can be used in hot and cold drinks and they don’t taste of anything. A cleaning brush comes with every set of 12.


metal straws to replace plastic straws

2 / 5

Metal straws

Senhai sell a set of eight stainless steel metal straws - both straight and bent and what's more they don't come with any plastic packaging, which is what we're trying to avoid remember. They come in different colours, are dishwasher proof and come with two cleaning brushes.


Glass straws are recyclable and non-toxic and a better alternative to plastic straws

3 / 5

Glass straws

StrawGrace offer up handmade, incredibly hardy glass straws that come in packs of five. These pretty straws with coloured ends are BPA free, eco-friendly, dishwasher safe and shatterproof. Each packet comes with a year's guarantee - this is the same glass that's used in labs all over the world and in Pyrex dishes. Safe and strong.


Biodegradable paper straws make a good alternative to plastic

4 / 5

Paper straws

Kikkerland make every type of colour and pattern of paper straw you can think of, which makes a cheap and planet friendly alternative to plastic straws at a party, or for kids. The inks are soy based and food safe, the paper is biodegradable and coated with beeswax.


Silicone straws are better than disposable plastic straws

5 / 5

Silicone straws

Pick up silicone straws from Buy Me Once. Seraphina’s Kitchen make reusable coloured straws from silicone, we like the pastel colours. They’re all BPA free, lead and phthalates free and again you can clean them with the brush that comes with each pack or put them in the dishwasher.


Want to pass on plastic in other ways?

Here's our 5 best plastic free water bottles or here's how to put a simple zero waste kit together.

For more ethical living and plastic free ideas come join the pebble pod

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