You’ve probably noticed it by now, but there’s a big push towards reusable materials, especially where straws are concerned. In these movements toward environmental friendliness and sustainability, the big concerns are that traditional plastic straws aren’t biodegradable, and therefore clog up the environments where they end up. Most commonly, these straw and plastic particles end up in our oceans, releasing chemicals trapped during production into the air, land, and water that not only hurt the sea life, but the plant life, environment, and can affect human health.  But, that doesn’t mean that there’s a quick, easy, and equal solution to the plastic problem, especially in the United States where to-go cups and soft drinks are consumed by the millions. Many big corporations including StarbucksShake Shack, and even McDonalds across the pond are making the switch toward paper (or at least, biodegradable or compostable) straws in efforts to reduce their massive carbon footprint.  Government agencies across the globe have made moves to enact laws banning plastic straw use, including Vancouver, Canada, and the countries of Scotland and Taiwan. In the United States, New York City, Hawaii, and California have pending legislation, with other places like Seattle, Washington, as well as beach areas in Florida and New Jersey. When it comes to controversial (or simply, unique) situations such as plastic straws vs reusable straws, it’s best to break it down to basic pros and cons so that readers can decide what matters to them personally as they decide what to do going forward.  So, let’s get into the pros and cons of reusable straws.  We find that getting the negative out of the way is the best approach, leaving us plenty of room to discuss the advantages.

PORTABILITY

  The #1 disadvantage pertaining to reusable straws is the fact that you would have to carry them with you rather than get one complimentary from your favorite gas station or fast food joint. That means you’ll need some extra bag space, perhaps a recyclable bag or container to put it in afterward to ensure that your residual liquids don’t damage any important items you’re carrying. Just like spilling coffee or water, a few drops of either can do damage to important documents, photos, or small electronics.  However, if you’re already in the habit of carrying around a refillable mug or bottle, is bringing a reusable straw really that much of an inconvenience?

THE MONEY FACTOR

  Next, there’s the obvious fact (one we already touched on) that reusable straws aren’t free. You aren’t going to be handed a silicone, metal, or glass straw anywhere you go just for kicks. No restaurant is going to opt to go that eco-friendly just yet, and the same applies to anywhere else you’d find a refreshing or hot beverage. Now, some establishments may have paper straws or something biodegradable like that, but that’s still disposable in nature. If you’re going for reusable, you’ll have to pay a bit more than you might want to when looking for a pack of straws.  And yet, it’s not an expense that is going to break the bank by any means.

KEEPING THINGS CLEAN

  Third, there’s the cleaning factor. Straws are thin, and reusable straws are often stiff and non-malleable, meaning you can’t just squish them to get the gunk out, and you can’t use a dishwasher or traditional dish brush to clean them either. They require a specific tool that typically comes in the package of straws, but if you lose it or break it, your reusable straws will be out of commission until you can acquire a replacement.  That’s not too bad, though, because say you’ve already been using reusable water bottles or like containers that also require special care and cleaning….reusable straws are just smaller versions that require similar care. 

MATERIAL

  Finally, there’s one thing about reusable straws that could go both ways: material. Certain materials can potentially add certain flavors, conduct heat and cold astronomically, or not last long in your drink. Think paper straws, for example. Those are equally as single-use, if even more so than traditional plastic straws as the liquid causes the material to dampen, bend, and deteriorate. Silicone straws are often thick, chewy, and do a poor job at regulating liquid intake (not to mention they may feel somewhat childish due to their size). Metal straws can add a metallic taste, and just like glass straws, can make hot drinks even hotter and cold drinks even colder. But, there are two sides to the whole “material”  thing.

Reusable Straw Advantages (Materials) 

Since we ended the last section talking about materials, we’ll kick this one off with the flip side of that narrative. First, for a more detailed breakdown of reusable straw types, you might find this blog on our site helpful. But, we’ll still break things down here.

STAINLESS STEEL (AND GLASS)

These materials are pretty eco-friendly, available in an array of sets with different quantities, styles, and colors, they come with their own cleaning brush, are extremely durable, and are dishwasher safe. So, just a quick pump of the straw brush and you can set it in the dishwasher to sanitize. With Metal or Stainless straws, you might get a slightly metallic taste. Glass straws have all the same benefits, just without the potential for metallic taste.

SILICONE 

  These are easily portable, can be quite compact, work with all types of drinks, and are resistant to biting and chewing. These straws are ideal for children who like to chomp on anything and everything, but also adults who have the habit as well.  But those are the basic options. At EQUO, we’ve mastered a few different materials you haven’t seen on shelves before. This includes rice straws, coconut straws, grass straws, and sugarcane straws. Each of these types has its own unique benefits.

Reusable Straw Advantages (Everything Else) 

  Now that we’ve covered the materials, it’s time to talk about all the other benefits of reusable straws. The #1 benefit is not necessarily a personal one, but you’re reducing and eliminating your waste which in turn benefits the global waste problem. While biodegradable options like EQUO’s straws are ideal, you can get several uses out of other materials like silicone, glass, and metal. And, even if you have to toss one for one reason or another, there are ways to recycle or get rid of them safely. Plus, keep in mind that if you toss or recycle one reusable straw, it probably meant that you didn’t use hundreds of traditional plastic straws.  In addition to that, you’re helping wildlife and sea life alike. Chances are that you’ve seen one or two instances of an animal or sea creature getting caught in some sort of plastic and if so, you’ve seen how difficult it is for them to get out on their own. Let alone if they confuse it as food and consume it regularly, their digestive systems can’t handle something as manmade as plastic. It’s easy to forget that animals need to be advocated for, and choosing to reduce your (albeit, distanced) negative impact on our lands and in our oceans is one way to do so. If you regularly carry a reusable straw with you, you’ll never really want for a straw and have to feel bad for it again. This especially applies when you’re out in nature, say on a boat, on a hike, at an amusement park, but the same also holds true for when you’re at home, at work, or stopping by your favorite restaurant.  The bottom line is that reusable straws are better for you, better for the planet, better for wildlife, and there are tons of options that can fit your lifestyle and drinking needs as far as material, style, and longevity. Companies have done their part to provide options in efforts to ‘save the planet’ so it’s the least consumers can do to take advantage of those options. 

Other Straw Options From EQUO

But those are the basic options. At EQUO, we’ve mastered a few different materials you haven’t seen on shelves before. This includes rice straws, coconut straws, grass straws, and sugarcane straws. Each of these types has its own unique benefits.

RICE

it’s edible and should you choose to eat it, it’s quite tasty. But, even though it’s consumable, it won’t add any flavor to the drink, it comes in sizes appropriate for juices, smoothies, and Boba drinks, and is available in an array of sizes and lengths.

COCONUT

It’s never soggy, Coconut adds no aroma or flavor to the drinks, and is pretty standard compared to traditional straws. This type is ideal for juices or drinks with thinner consistencies.  

GRASS 

Our grass straws are also never soggy, add no flavor to drinks, and are perfect for juices with two different sizes. This one does have a slight aroma (but don’t confuse that with flavor!) where it smells like it “just rained in nature.” We find it pleasant rather than distracting or unwanted.

SUGARCANE

Our third never-soggy option, sugarcane adds no flavor to drinks and is ideal for a number of different beverages, including juice, smoothies, and Boba drinks. This type comes in all of our available sizes, just like the Rice straws, and has a simple scent that’s faintly reminiscent of sweet brown sugar.

Added Benefits Of EQUO Reusable Straws Specifically

Our mission at EQUO is to provide a variety of eco-friendly solutions and alternatives to everyday items. Our products are and will always be 100% natural, plastic-free, chemical-free, and biodegradable in any environment. We also want to help our communities and economies. Specifically, we source our products directly from small farming communities across Asia. Our products don’t have any special instructions for disposal as they’re 100% biodegradable and compostable. You can literally see one of our straws become part of the earth again if you leave it out in your yard or planter. All-natural, in the best possible way.  If you’re interested in learning more about us, what we do, what we stand for, and what we offer, visit our website today!

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