It’s estimated that Americans use 500 million straws each year.
If you have a medical requirement for needing single-use plastic straws, we understand and respect your right to use what you need to get through the world.
For those who use straws by choice, there are plenty of alternatives: glass, metal, multi-use plastic, bamboo, and silicone straws are all widely available. Find an option that works for you, pop it in your bag, and keep it handy. As anyone can attest, even asking for your drink to be served without a straw can result in getting one anyway. Having a reusable straw in your hand to use as a prop when asking for no straw can feel a little contrived and awkward at first, but it can make an impression on your server and reduce the chance of getting that unwelcome straw.
Or you might find that you don’t even need a straw. Perhaps you could drink straight out of your glass! Asking yourself why you’re doing something and if you actually need to do it is one of the best skills you’ll develop in your Zero Waste practice.
To clean your reusable straw, there are long-lasting straw-sized scrubbies that can be inserted into the straw, or you can reuse a pipe cleaner many times. We recommend rinsing your straw as soon as you’re done with it, if possible, to make cleaning it easier.