6 Alternatives to Plastic Straws

kings bowl drink

It’s a simple item that most of us use on a daily basis – a plastic straw. An article published by National Geographic states there are 500 million straws tossed in the trash every single day, meaning 8.3 billion straws pollute the world’s beaches.

Companies and cities are hoping to make a dent in these numbers by finding alternatives to plastic straws.

As of July, Seattle put a ban on plastic straws. Starbucks announced plans to phase out plastic straws by 2020. McDonald’s is planning to ban straws in the U. K. and Ireland. Alaska Airlines will ban not only straws but plastic stirrers and Bon Appetit Management, a food service company, also announced a phase-out of plastic straws.

So, what’s the alternative? Below are six non-plastic straw options.

paper straw

1Paper Straw

They are colorful and you find them in a variety of themes from stripes to an assortment. The downside- they often become soggy and collapse.

stainless steel straw

2Stainless Steel

These are more durable than the plastic version. When you purchase a set of stainless steel straws, they often come with a small brush to clean them.


An alternative to paper, is the bamboo straw. The material is thicker and less likely to go limp.


With a glass straw, you will have the see-thru effect of a plastic straw. We are curious about if it will chip much like a drinking glass which could cause injury.


For those who are DIYers, you can buy molds for straws and create your own straw out of ice. Be careful not to recreate “A Christmas Story” moment.


You can now buy hay straws. They are made from wheat and available in several different sizes.

How do you feel about plastic straws? Do you like plastic straws, don’t care, or prefer an alternative?

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  1. I just came from the beaches at Charleston and Savanna and I didn’t see a single straw!!! I think that 8.1 million straws on our beaches is a bit misleading!!!!

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