Beverages are all more refreshing with a straw! Straws can protect your teeth from stains and cavities from sugary drinks and are important for those with physical disabilities. But it's hard to enjoy your drink when you feel guilty about plastic straws adding to our environmental problems. Even if plastic can be recycled in your area, straws usually can't. Metal straws, a popular alternative, aren't flexible and could chip your teeth.
Fortunately, there's a solution! Biodegradable straws allow you to sip conveniently, comfortably, and guilt-free. Paper, bamboo, wheat, and plant-based plastics are all great eco-friendly materials. Our top pick, Plant-Based Compostable Straws from Plasticless, made the cut for its sturdiness and flexibleness. Keep reading for the rest of our top 10 recommendations and a helpful buying guide.
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When choosing a biodegradable straw, make sure to consider factors such as the material of the product! This buying guide will give you some tips for choosing a straw that works wonderfully for you and doesn't harm the planet.
There are quite a few eco-friendly alternatives to regular plastic straws that you can choose from. To find out which one is the best for you, consider the pros and cons of each material!
Bamboo is a highly sustainable material since it can grow up to a meter just within a day and doesn't need any fertilizers or pesticides. Also, actually has a greater tensile strength than steel and can withstand high levels of heat without bending or melting, so you can use bamboo straws for hot drinks as well!
Besides being 100 percent biodegradable, bamboo straws are reusable and have strong antibacterial properties. But be careful not to store bamboo straws in a humid place as they can get easily get moldy. If you reuse them, dry them thoroughly after washing. And don't leave them in the sink! Bamboo is very absorbent and can sop up soapy or contaminated water.
Paper straws are a popular alternative to plastic ones. They are 100 percent biodegradable, take a short time to decompose, and are safer for the ecosystem as well. However, paper straws can get mushy quickly, so do factor in the number of straws you'd use if you're going to have multiple drinks.
The manufacturing process of paper straws is also quite intensive and requires a lot of resources and energy. Still, many people love paper straws since they tend to have colorful designs. Just make sure to get a product with food-safe ink to avoid putting harmful chemicals into your drinks!
Wheat or hay straws are crafted from wheat stems, which are an agricultural by-product. By using this type of straw, you're saving a lot of natural resources! Also, compared to paper straws, they are stronger and don't get soggy easily. But keep in mind that they are single-use only.
Made from straw leftovers and not the grains themselves, wheat straws are likely to be gluten-free. But due to cross-contamination like residue on equipment or surfaces, they might end up containing gluten. So if you need to avoid gluten, check and see if the product is certified gluten-free.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a plant-based plastic derived from materials like corn starch or sugarcane. This biodegradable bioplastic is cost-efficient because it can be made using existing equipment.
It's the most similar material to regular plastic. If you use a PLA straw, you might never know the difference, except that PLA melts more easily and thus isn't a good choice for hot liquids. Also be sure to store your PLA straws in a cool environment so they do not melt.
However, PLA is not a perfect solution to using plastic. Although it doesn't come from petroleum, it does come from potential food crops. There is also controversy about how biodegradable it is.
In the ocean, regular plastic can take from hundreds of years to thousands of years to degrade. But PLA will degrade in six to 24 months! So that seems great, right?
Unfortunately, the conditions needed to degrade PLA are not present in natural environments. PLA need to be composted in industrial facilities at the right temperature, so you have to ensure your PLA straws reach a recycling facility that will process PLA products.
Your straws might be biodegradable and environmentally-friendly, but they are not necessarily safe for your health. To save cost, some manufacturers might add chemical dyes to make low-quality straws more aesthetically appealing, so be sure to choose a dye-free product!
You need to be extra careful with paper straws since they are often decorated with colorful patterns. Look for paper straws that are made with food-safe inks or are ink-free.
Products might claim to be 100 percent safe, biodegradable, and environmentally-friendly to appeal to eco-conscious consumers. But that might just be a marketing strategy. You want to make sure these claims are backed up.
To give yourself peace of mind, look for products regulated by reputable certification bodies. If you're concerned about the health and safety of your product, choose a product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And to see if your product is actually eco-friendly, look for trustworthy stamps such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, or Forest Stewardship Council logo.
Products can only bear those stamps if they meet all the rigorous standards set out by experts! So their logos are the best indication that your product is hygienic and safe for both you and the environment.
The length and diameter of the straw you use might not seem important, but they actually matter a lot! Not all drinks are of the same consistency, and you probably don't want to get a thin straw and then figure out that it doesn't work with your smoothies, right?
Usually, for thin liquids like coffee, tea, or cocktails, you can opt for straws with a diameter ranging from 0.12 to 0.2 inches. For thin to medium consistency like smoothies, a diameter from 0.2 to 0.28 inches would do.
Thicker drinks like milkshakes might need a diameter from 0.28 to 0.39 inches. And if you like to put some tapioca jellies or diced fruit in your drinks, pick a straw with a diameter of over 0.39 inches.
Get a straw with the right length for your cups as well! For tall cups, pick a straw seven to eight inches long. For short cups, a five-inch straw will work.
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100% Plant-Based Compostable Straws
A Perfect Plant-Based Substitute for Plastic
Biodegradable Paper Straws
Get Festive With Different Colored and Patterned Paper Straws
Paper Drinking Straws ｜Assorted colors
BPA-Free Paper With Bleed-Free, Food-Safe Ink
Biodegradable Paper Straws
Sip on Durable FSC-Certified Straws
Biodegradable Drinking Straws
Individually-Wrapped Sugarcane Straws
Clear Drinking Straws
Clear Straws Made from Vegetable-Based Plastic
Organic Bamboo Straws
Reusable and Easy-to-Clean Organic Bamboo Straws
Kraft Paper Straws ｜Jumbo
Thick and Sturdy Paper-Based Eco-Friendly Straws
Natural Bamboo Straws ｜Combo pack
Reuse These Different Sized Straws
Natural Drinking Straws
Try Straws Made from Wheat Stems
These bendy straws are made from plant-based ingredients to help you reduce your plastic waste! An environmentally-friendly choice, they meet industrial standards to be certified compostable and are free of petrochemicals.
The straws are designed to decompose in 180 days in a warm and humid environment, so make sure to store the box in a dry area and start using the straws immediately before they begin degrading.
Reviewers were impressed by how strong and sturdy the straws were: the straws held up all day long and didn't get soggy or disintegrate into their drinks. Many also loved that the straws were bendable and felt just like plastic ones. However, some buyers noted that the straws melt or collapse in hot beverages.
These biodegradable paper straws made with food-safe ink come in four adorable designs in pink and gold to help you elevate drinks for special occasions, like baby or wedding showers and birthday parties, or on days you're feeling fancy.
Not only are these BPA-free straws designed to last in liquid for hours, they are also reusable! Give them a rinse after use and they will harden up again as they dry.
Some reviewers commented that the straws got soggy too quickly and lamented the need to use multiple straws if having more than one drink. Happy buyers loved the stylish designs and the eco-friendly material. Some reviewers used the straws for desserts, such as cake pops or cupcake toppers.
Tired of paper straws getting soggy? These bright and cheery multi-layered 100 percent biodegradable paper straws will come to your rescue! You don't have to worry about your straws disintegrating or falling apart in your drink because these hold up in liquid for quite a while. There are seven different colors made using food-safe ink that doesn't bleed.
A few reviewers complained about the suction of the straws, saying they leaked air. Some others said the straws had a weird flavor that affected the taste of their drinks. A couple of other buyers mentioned they wished the straws were longer to fit taller glasses.
However, many reviewers were happy with the durability and longevity of these straws. The assorted vibrant colors were also a hit, especially with kids.
These biodegradable and compostable straws are made of paper harvested from responsibly-managed and environmentally-friendly forests, so you'll get the convenience of straws with none of the plastic waste. Compared to normal paper straws, they are made with more material, making them thicker and more durable.
Some reviewers said these straws not suitable for thick drinks like smoothies. Others did not like the feel of the straw on their tongue or lips. Reviewers said these straws were high quality and and didn't fall apart easily. Many also reported that there was virtually no funky taste or smell coming from the straws.
These wrapped straws are made with non-toxic sugarcane. They have met SGS safety standards and contain no plastic materials, as approved by the PIDC. Compared to paper straws, sugarcane straws are durable won't become soggy easily. These are also reusable and compostable.
A couple of reviewers noted that the individual wrappings and the PLA material make this product not the most environmentally-friendly. A few reviewers also mentioned that the instructions advise reusing the straw for only one day, which is also more wasteful.
Reviewers liked that the straws hold up well, comparable to plastic straws, and didn't get mushy or add any weird taste to their drinks. Buyers also noted that the straws have one sharp end cut at an angle, so if you need to make a hole in your bubble tea lid or juice pouch, this might help!
With their clear design, these straws might look like plastic, but they're actually plant-based PLA, a safe alternative made from corn starch. They are 100 percent biodegradable and are certified compostable. Each set also comes in zero-waste packaging, so you can feel confident you're making an environmentally-friendly choice.
Unhappy buyers said that the straws melted in hot drinks, and some people even received straws that had melted already. However, many happy buyers said these straws feel and work like normal plastic straws. They also liked that the straws were durable, lasted in liquid a long time, and didn't have any smell or taste.
These reusable, biodegradable bamboo straws are ethically-sourced Plus, they come in an assortment of different diameters, making them perfect for different mouth sizes and types of drinks, including smoothies, milkshakes, juices, or cocktails. Also included are a coconut fiber cleaning brush so you can easily clean your straws and a storage bag for easy carrying.
A few reviewers complained that the straws tasted woody and the flavor seeped into their beverages. To get rid of the smell, a couple of buyers suggested thoroughly washing or soaking the straws. Some reviewers also said the cleaning brush didn't fit all the brushes properly.
Most reviewers liked how environmentally-friendly, easy-to-clean, strong, and solid the straws were. Others loved the multiple sizes. Several reviewers liked the feel of the bamboo on their teeth, especially compared to metal straws.
Crafted with Forest Stewardship Council-certified thick Kraft paper, these eco-conscious straws feel more solid than average paper straws. The sustainably harvested paper is completely biodegradable, but the straws will not fall apart or leave any papery residue in your drink. The natural paper color is convenient for matching any drink or event theme.
A handful of reviewers said that the straws were too flimsy to last even one drink. A couple of reviewers said the straws do get soft but fortunately don't disintegrate in drinks. Happy buyers liked that there was no papery taste and said they were sturdier than other paper straws they'd used.
These reusable straws are handcrafted with organic materials in Bali. They can be used multiple times in hot and cold drinks, and you can wash them in the dishwasher. You'll get twelve straws in two different sizes, a cleaning brush, and two drawstring storage bags.
A few reviewers were displeased that these straws weren't very reusable, complaining that they were fragile and broke easily or splintered. Others didn't like the woody taste.
Reviewers recommend washing and fully drying right after use so the bamboo doesn't absorb the flavor of your drink. Most buyers were happy that these straws were sturdy and long-lasting. People were also a fan of the convenient single-straw storage bag.
These straws are made from natural wheat stems. They are designed to be single-use only, but they are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable. Even better, they are non-GMO and minimally processed and have been tested to be gluten-free and safe for people with Celiac's disease.
Several reviewers noted that the straws were very thin and fragile and the diameter was too small to drink out of, so this might not be a good choice for beverages with a lot of ice or a thick consistency, like smoothies or milkshakes.
Happy reviewers liked that these straws were an eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws and a sturdier, longer-lasting alternative to paper straws. Others were glad that these straws didn't give off any flavor.
If you choose a biodegradable straw that's reusable, you'll want to make sure you keep it super clean for sanitary reasons. You don't want food or mold or bacteria building up in your straw! You also don't want the straw to absorb any flavors. It's ideal to clean it immediately after use, or at least give it a rinse before cleaning it later.
Start by rinsing your straw. Then put dish soap on a cleaning brush and slide it in and out of the straw. Baking soda is also useful for removing any lingering food matter. Rinse thoroughly to remove the soap. You don't want any moisture left in your straw, so leave it standing upright to dry. Take a look at the video below for more information.
If you don't have a cleaning brush, a pipe cleaner is a great alternative cleaning tool. Check out this video from BetterBalancedBliss to see how easy it is to clean your straw.
It's important that your brush or pipe cleaner is thick enough, so if a single pipe cleaner doesn't fill the circumference of your straw, try twisting multiple pipe cleaners together.
Want to switch over to more sustainable, eco-friendly options? Our suggestions might help you to do so!
No. 1: Plasticless｜100% Plant-Based Compostable Straws
No. 2: ALINK｜Biodegradable Paper Straws
No. 3: Comfy Package｜Paper Drinking Straws ｜Assorted colors
No. 4: Naturalik｜Biodegradable Paper Straws
No. 5: Biostark｜Biodegradable Drinking Straws
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