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Beyond the Plastic Drinking Straw: 6 Eco-Friendly Alternatives (Including One Made of Straw)

Can small acts of refusal make a difference? We hope so. For the past few years, we at Remodelista have rid our kitchens of plastic drinking straws, no exception.

According to the New York Times, cities such as Malibu, Davis, and San Luis Obispo in California as well as Seattle and Miami Beach “have banned or limited the use of plastic straws in restaurants. Advocates say laws aimed at cutting back on the use of plastic straws can help spur more significant behavioral changes.” And just this week, Starbucks announced its decision to ban plastic straws in every one of its 28,000 stores by 2020.

Here are five alternatives (straw straws included).

Glass

Serax Glass Straws
Above: A great housewarming gift, the Juice Straws from Serax are handmade of glass and packaged together with a cleaning brush; $19 for set of four at Amara.
Commune Glass Drinking Straws
Above: LA-based Commune Design offers a set of four handblown Glass Drinking Straws in a leather case for $52.50 (down from $75).
Hummingbird Bent Glass Straws
Above: Hummingbird’s Bent Glass Straws come in a slew of colors, including this Seashell Purple, and are dishwasher-safe; $17 for two straws and one cleaning brush.

Straw

Harvest Straws
Above: Made from heritage grain in Southern California, Harvest Straws are “the most sustainable, low-carbon, environmentally friendly drinking straws available,” the company says. Contact Harvest Straws directly for ordering information. Another option from Switzerland, available via Etsy: Drinking Straws made from straw; $9.17 for a pack of 20 from Golden Biscotti.

Paper

Kikkerland Birch Paper Straws
Above: Kikkerland’s Biodegradable Paper Straws in Birch have amassed over 1,400 reviews on Amazon for an average of four stars; $9 for 144 on Amazon.
Aardvark Sea Turtles Paper Straws
Above: According to the Aardvark website, a man named Marvin Stone first made and patented the paper straw in 1888. His company reintroduced and improved on his concept in 2007 by launching Aardvark Straws. Its 7.75-inches Sea Turtles Retail Pack Eco-Flex Paper Straws bend at the top, just like classic plastic bendy straws; $7.99 for 24.

Silicone

Seraphina's Kitchen Silicone Straws
Above: While it’s not our first choice, silicone straws are better than disposable plastic versions because they’re more durable and environmentally friendly. Many of the silicone versions offered, unfortunately, are in children’s-birthday colors, but these pastel Reusable Silicone Straws, by Seraphina’s Kitchen, feel more grown-up; $12.41 for six on Amazon.

Metal

West Elm Metal Bendy Straws
Above: No-nonsense stainless steel Metal Bendy Straws from West Elm are $3 each.
Stainless Steel Silicone Straw
Above: A good alternative for those who like metal straws but not its cold hardness, the Stainless Steel and Silicone Straw is $4.95 each at Package Free Shop.

Bamboo

Eartheasy Bamboo Straws
Above: A six-pack of reusable Bamboo Straws is $9.50 from Eartheasy.
N.B.: This post is an update; it first ran on Remodelista on April 12, 2018.

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