The drinking straw has been around as early as the Sumerians. They were mainly used to drink alcoholic beverages to avoid the solid byproducts produced during fermentation. These days straws are a convenient way to drink your beverages without having to lift your glass.
As we all know, plastic straws are being slowly phased out due to their effects on the ecosystem. Nowadays, people have opted to use paper or reusable straws to minimize their trash and help the environment heal.
What are the different benefits of reusable and paper straws?
Reusable straws. These can come in different materials and sizes. Materials like plastic, silicone, stainless steel, glass, and bamboo have their advantages and disadvantages. Reusable plastic straws are more robust compared to their disposable counterparts.
Most reusable plastic straws are made of BPA-free food-grade material. They’re durable and lightweight, but they can still retain or absorb unwanted odor over time. Moreover, they’re still plastic which means they’ll take a long time to disintegrate and cause more pollutants.
Silicone straws are temperature-resistant, soft, and bendable. They are perfect for small children, and for people who like to travel. They do come with a particular rubbery smell, but they can wear off with some washing. They’re also non-porous, so you don’t have to worry about bacterial build-up.
However, the tear strength of silicone straws is low compared to other reusable straws. They’re not ideal for people who have the habit of chewing their straws or people who tend to fidget.
Stainless steel straws are the most common reusable straws. They’re tough, easy to clean, and they’re recyclable. They’re also temperature sensitive, which makes them susceptible to extreme temperatures, and they occasionally give a strong metallic taste.
Glass straws are considered the classiest out of all the reusable straws. They’re aesthetically pleasing, and they’re rust-proof, but their brittleness may cause unwanted shards of glass in your drink or cuts.
Bamboo straws are a niche. It’s made from bamboo plants which makes it biodegradable and compostable. It’s temperature-resistant and affordable in comparison to other reusable straws. The only issue is that the woody taste may be noticeable, and it doesn’t last as long, so you need to find a replacement now and then.
In terms of size, there are different reusable straws for regular drinks and drinks like boba or fancy cocktails with larger ingredients. Depending on what you often drink, both types are available here.
Paper straws. The majority of plastic straws in restaurants have been replaced with paper straws. They’re an excellent replacement as they are biodegradable and safer for the environment.
They can come in bulk and different designs. Unfortunately, paper straws disintegrate faster than plastic straws, which means your drink may have a bit of a cardboard taste once it gets wet.
But compared to reusable straws, they’re great for parties, and you don’t have to worry about losing a straw as they are disposable. They’re much more affordable and require less maintenance. All you need is to store them in a cool and dry place.
In terms of size, paper straws both have the regular or large type. But large boba paper straws are rarely used due to the boba warping the paper, making it unusable.