6 Plastic Straw Alternatives That Won’t Harm You Or the Planet

The push against plastic straws has been prevalent in the last few years, with some cities and businesses banning them and others simply promoting the switch to a more sustainable option. It’s estimated that Americans use more than 500 million plastic straws every day, and most of those end up in the ocean, which pollutes the water and causes danger to marine life.

One alternative to plastic straws that some businesses are adopting is the pasta straw, made from wheat pasta. Of course, this is a concern for those who are unable to consume gluten, even though it may be a sound choice for the environment. However, there are plenty of gluten-free and plastic-free alternatives to plastic drinking straws available. These are our favorite options that can be used guilt-free in place of an unsafe straw that may be offered. 

1. HAY! Straws

These natural drinking straws are plastic-free and completely biodegradable.  They’re made from wheat stems but have been tested as gluten-free by the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Food Allergy and Resource Program and have a low gluten reading of 8ppm, which is classified as gluten free. Once you’re done using a straw made of straw, it can be tossed into the compost and will break down naturally. The straws don’t get soggy, are safe to use with hot drinks and are available in wholesale quantities for businesses who want to switch to HAY! Straws. Buy them here. 

2. Natural Home Brands Compostable Straws

Another compostable option are these earth-friendly straws made from plant-based renewable sources. They’re relatively inexpensive and are a good option for special events, when single-use straws are still needed but you don’t want to cause harm to the earth. Just make sure to compost the straws, because if they end up in the ocean, they won’t be any better than plastic ones for the wildlife! Buy them here.

3. FinalStraw

Moving on to reusable straws, FinalStraw brands themselves as “the world’s most badass straw.” The straw is collapsible and can fit in a case made to attach to your keychain. The straws are made of stainless steal, with inner elastic material made from medical and food-grade silicone. The straws are easy to clean and would make a great gift for an eco-conscious friend. Plus, since it’s compact and transportable, you can make sure you always have it with you when dining out. The straws are also durable, shown to last for about 16 years. Buy them here.

4. JimJim Glass Straws

If glass straws are more your style, these shatter-resistant ones are a fantastic option. They can be used in cold or hot drinks and have a lifetime guarantee, plus they’re dishwasher safe and come with a little cleaning brush to get them extra squeaky clean. Since the straws are transparent, they’re easy to clean because you can see what’s going on. Buy them here.

5. ALINK Reusable Smoothie Straws

For those who enjoy thicker beverages, like smoothies or milkshakes, a thick straw may be a necessity. These ones are made from FDA approved silicone and are BPA free. They’re reusable, durable and flexible and can be cut into different lengths. Since the straws are more flexible, they are safe for teeth and mouths, making them a good option for kids. They’re dishwasher safe and won’t be broken from being chewed on or bent. Buy them here.

6. Buluh Bamboo Straws

These straws are durable and organic, as well as completely biodegradable since they are made from bamboo. They are also a great choice for hot drinks. The bamboo used to create the straws comes from Bali, Indonesia, and the straws are handcrafted by local artisans. Each straw comes from a single stem of bamboo, so it’s unique in its variance of color, thickness and texture. No pesticides or chemicals are used in growing or cleaning the straws. These straws should not be put in the dishwasher, but a cleaning brush is included. Buy them here.

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