Metal Straws: An Alternative to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

13 July, 2020
Metal straws have become an interesting option to enjoy drinks without causing environmental pollution. Why should you use them? In this article, we'll tell you why!

Straws are a utensil that people frequently use to pass liquids from glasses to their mouths. Unfortunately, they currently constitute more than 0.02% of the nine million tons of plastic that reach the sea every year. But do you know about metal straws?

Most of the straws that people use worldwide are made of plastic or polyethylene. However, due to the environmental damage they cause, people are now increasingly trying to make them with biodegradable or reusable materials.

In this article, we’ve decided to focus on metal straws, as they’re increasingly popular in people who are looking for environmentally-friendly alternatives.

What are their advantages? How can you clean them? We’ll answer these questions below!

The advantages of metal straws

Drinks with plastic straws.
The main goal of straws is to be able to drink liquids from glasses without being in direct contact with them.

The use of straws goes beyond consuming beverages more comfortably. However, in many cases, they’re unnecessary. Initially, they were manufactured as an alternative to reduce the risk of catching diseases by having contact with poorly washed containers, such as bottles, glasses, or cups.

The disadvantage is that they started to be made of plastic since it’s an easy-to-use and inexpensive material. Furthermore, since they were first manufactured, they became popular around the world. Of course, the consequences of their use began to become noticeable years later, after experts discovered that they also contribute to environmental pollution.

Fortunately, thanks to campaigns to reduce their use, many stopped using them unless they’re completely necessary. Also, as expected, people began to look for other options to replace their plastic footprint with other materials to manufacture them.

In social networks, especially on Instagram, the use of metal straws has become a trend to drink smoothies, shakes, or any other beverage. The reason? They’re 100% reusable and contribute to protecting the environment.

In fact, they also boast several other benefits.

Make sure you read: 12 Fun Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles

They’re stronger and more durable

A metal straw among plastic straws.
As they’re made of stainless steel, they’re reusable and easy to wash.

Metal straws are made of stainless steel, which is why they’re more durable and resistant than plastic straws. In fact, the material stays in optimum conditions, regardless of the temperature or texture of the liquids.

They’re reusable

Unlike those made of plastic and other types of materials, metal straws are 100% reusable and can last for many years if you take care of them.

What does this mean?

Well, you’ll reduce your plastic footprint and, in turn, save money.

You can take them everywhere

If you want to make a difference in all the places you visit, you can take this utensil with you. Fortunately, you can easily transport it in any bag or backpack, since it doesn’t take up much space and there’s no risk of it breaking.

Metal straws don’t bend

Plastic straws are usually soft and break very easily. However, those made of stainless steel are of high quality and don’t suffer from this type of problem. They maintain their original shape, meaning that they’re always ready to use.

They help protect the environment

Colorful plastic straws.
Plastic straws are responsible for some of the plastic pollution in seas and oceans.

Plastic is one of the elements that damage natural environments the most. For this reason, even though it may seem like a small gesture, avoiding plastic straws is very beneficial in helping to protect the environment.

Thus, you have plenty of reasons to use metal straws.

You should also read: Is It Safe to Drink Water from Plastic Bottles?

How to wash metal straws

For obvious reasons, to use metal straws safely, it’s important for you to know how to disinfect them. You can’t ignore the fact that drink residues accumulate inside straws, which can create an ideal environment for bacteria. Be sure to use one of the following methods:

  • Wash them with antibacterial soap and water, using a brush that’s specially designed for these utensils.
  • Sterilize them in boiling water.
  • Wash them with white vinegar, water, and baking soda. Of course, use the brush to remove any waste that may remain inside.

Where can you get metal straws?

Due to how popular they’ve become in the past year, metal straws are available in many cooking utensil stores. However, you can also buy them online, along with the proper cleaning tools. In fact, you can find them in different colors and designs.

So what are you waiting for? Start doing your part to help the environment!

  • UNEP. (2017). Exploring the potential for adopting alternative materials to reduce marine plastic litter. Unep. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.26075.87849
  • Rigamonti, L., Grosso, M., Møller, J., Martinez Sanchez, V., Magnani, S., & Christensen, T. H. (2014). Environmental evaluation of plastic waste management scenarios. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2013.12.012