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Every Tuesday I try a new product and post a (brutally honest) review. This week I’m trying reusable straws.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Star Wars? Well, in our house, we have Straw Wars. That’s because a few months ago I “banned” plastic straws. I stopped buying them and instead I bought a package of reusable straws in an effort to cut back on our use of disposable plastic.
Fact: Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. In only the past twenty years, people have come to expect plastic straws in every drink, an example of extreme waste being generated for minimal convenience.
Yet this small, slender tube, utterly unnecessary for most beverage consumption, is at the center of a growing environmental campaign aimed at convincing people to stop using straws to help save the oceans. I was ready to give it a shot.
So …. I decided to purchase a package of reusable straws and try them out. There are LOTS of inexpensive straws available on Amazon made of glass or stainless steel. I decided to purchase these reusable straws, made by Kleen Kanteen because (confession) I’m a lifelong straw biter. To me, part of the “joy” in drinking from a straw is being able to bite on it and control exactly how much liquid is entering my mouth. This habit means that nobody usually wants to share a drink with me. I know it’s gross, but it’s what I do.
The plastic tip of the Kleen Kanteen straws comes off for cleaning and the rest of the straw is made of aluminum. The set comes with a specially designed small brush for cleaning – and you’ll definitely need to use it as it won’t always get 100% clean in the dishwasher.
We’ve been using the same package of 6 straws for a couple of months. They are holding up well and are relatively easy to clean. I use the qualifier “relatively” because if I use them for a smoothie and don’t rinse the straw immediately after drinking, they can get a little gunky (and definitely require the little brush.) The only downside is if you use them for drinks “to go” you end up with a dirty straw that you then have to transport back home to wash and re-use. I’ve been keeping a plastic bag in my purse and in my car for this purpose. It’s a little inconvenient, but in my opinion it’s worth it.
The other thing that I do is reuse cups/straws that I get from restaurants. If I pick up a cold drink at Starbucks and it comes in a cup with a lid and a straw, I just take it home and wash it when I’m finished. Then I reuse it the next time I need to take a drink to go.
How do you feel about straws? Are you a straw biter? Would you consider trying reusable straws? What other things are you doing to reduce your use of disposable plastic?