As one of the most frequently used single-use plastic items, drinking straws produce a significant amount of plastic waste. They are made of petroleum-based plastics, which are non-degradable.
Being one of the most frequently found items in the ocean, plastic straws do not only harm marine life but can also hurt other animals and even people who eat polluted seafood.
Some manufacturers have jumped on the green bandwagon to offer more natural, sustainable options to satisfy an increasing demand for eco-friendly alternatives.
The most common alternatives include biodegradable, compostable, and reusable straws. In this post, we’ll be focusing on biodegradable and reusable options.
Best options for biodegradable drinking straws in 2022
There are many types of biodegradable straws available on the market today. Here is a list of alternatives to conventional disposable drinking straws.
1. Bamboo Straws
Made from bamboo, which has been grown for centuries without harming nature or humans. They come in different sizes and shapes, so you will be able to find something that suits your needs perfectly!
2. Paper Straws
Paper straws are an eco-friendly alternative for those looking for something that’s easy to use and doesn’t require any special equipment or skills. The paper material breaks down quickly when exposed to sunlight and water. However, they may be more expensive than some other options.
3. Coconut Shell Straws
Another great alternative to plastic straws is coconut shell ones. Not just sustainable but very easy on the environment as well. All you need to do is cut off the top part of the coconut with a sharp knife, then place it over the end of your drink bottle. This way, there won’t be any residue left behind.
4. Wood Sticks
If you’re looking for an inexpensive yet effective solution, then wood sticks might be what you want. Simply soak wooden sticks in water overnight, then use them like normal straws.
5. Wheat Straws
Also known as corn-straws, wheat straws are another type of natural straw used worldwide. It’s strong enough to hold up against hot drinks such as tea and coffee while being thin enough to fit into small spaces.
6. Papaya leaf stems straws
A perfect example of how simple things can make a big difference. Just take a papaya leaf stem and put it inside a glass of warm water. After 30 minutes, remove the stem and enjoy your cold beverage through this plant-based straw.
7. Banana Leaf Straws
Similar to papaya leaf stems straws, except using banana leaves instead. Put both the leaves together and heat them until soft before inserting them into a cup of boiling water.
8. Hay straws
Instead of buying expensive straws, why not try making your own? Take a piece of hay and tie it tightly into a knot. Then insert the tip of the straw into the center of the knot. Now simply suck down your favorite beverages through the straw.
9. Jute Straws
To create these straws, you’ll first need to boil the ends of two pieces of jute together. Once boiled dry, bend each piece into shape and allow them to cool completely. Use the straw by sucking directly onto the bent section.
10. Cane Straws
Cane straws are probably my personal favorites due to their simplicity. Cut off the bottom third of a sugarcane stalk and use it as a regular straw.
11. Seaweed Straws
Seaweeds have long been used as food and medicine throughout history. Today we know that seaweeds are extremely rich in minerals, including iodine and iron. That means that if you add seaweed powder to your daily diet, you’ll receive ample amounts of those important nutrients.
12. Straw Straws
Yes, I said it…Straw Straws! But let me explain myself: The problem with traditional straws is that they often contain toxic chemicals that leach into liquids during consumption. However, straw straws aren’t filled with toxins because they’re made entirely of plants. So now you’ve got nothing to worry about.
13. Ice Straws
These ice straws work much better than paper or bamboo ones, which disintegrate when placed in liquid. You see, ice doesn’t melt, so it remains intact longer. And since ice isn’t going anywhere, it will never run out no matter how many times you consume it.
14. Pasta Straws
They came across pasta straws on their travels and decided to turn them into something useful. Their product description reads: “Pasta straws are edible, eco-friendly, compostable, recyclable, gluten-free & vegan.”
15. Clear Plastic Biodegradable Straws
This clear plastic alternative comes affordable for consumers looking for quality products.
16. Pineapple Stem Straws
Another inexpensive option available everywhere, pineapple stem straws come in different colors and sizes.
17. Hemp Straws
A plant-based solution to plastics, hemp straws are slowly becoming more common, especially among vegans.
Not all eco-friendly drinking straws have to be biodegradable. The goal of reducing your environmental footprint can be achieved by replacing single-use plastic straws with reusable (and recyclable) alternatives.
Reusable straw alternatives
1. Recycled Glass Straws
Why don’t you try making reusable straws instead of using glass bottles to store water? It’s easy enough to cut down empty soda bottles and place them inside another bottle that acts as insulation against cold drinks.
2. Ceramic Straws
Ceramics are usually non-reactive and durable. As such, ceramic straws last a lifetime without breaking easily.
3. Stainless Steel Straws
Unlike aluminum, stainless steel won’t react with acidic foods and beverages. In fact, these straws are perfect for anyone who enjoys carbonated beverages.
4. Drinking straws that are edible
Those are good for our planet and taste great, too. Compostable and biodegradable, edible straws can be not only a fun choice but can also replace plastic straws.
5. Silicon Straws
Silicon straws are:
- A good alternative to metal.
- Plastic straws for people who don’t like hard metals.
It is more sustainable and softer than plastic. They come in all colors and are a kids’ party favorite. And, of course, they are reusable.