7 Eco-Friendly Straw Alternatives so You Can Skip the Plastic

Save the environment — and the sea turtles.

July 19, 2018
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Drinking straws on white background

Photo by: julichka/iStock


Single-use plastic straws are about to be a thing of the past. Cities and restaurants nationwide are banning the products in an effort to save the environment — and the sea turtles. If you're wondering what this means for your morning iced coffee, know that this is not the end of the world. Here are some eco-friendly solutions for your to-go cup that you'll want to know about.

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©Photo courtesy of Amazon

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Paper Straws

Paper straws are the go-to when replacing single-use plastic straws. They’re just as convenient, and so much cuter. However, not all paper straws are created equal. Before hitting check out, make sure the paper straws in your cart are compostable and biodegradable like these.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Recyclable Lids

Starbucks recently announced plans to cycle plastic straws out of all its stores by 2020. The result? The brand is going all-in on recyclables with biodegradable and compostable straws, a fully recyclable hot cup and recyclable lids that, to be honest, are so obvious, it’s baffling that we hadn’t thought of them sooner.

Photo by: Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Stainless Steel Straws

Stainless steel straws like these look super sleek – and keep tons of unnecessary waste out of landfills. Plus, metal straws are even more durable than the plastic ones you’re used to, and many brands come with a cleaning brush for easy cleaning. Make sure to look for "stainless steel" in the product description to ensure they won't rust after a few uses.

Photo by: Photo Courtesy of Bambu

Photo Courtesy of Bambu

Bamboo Straws

Paper straws can be pretty polarizing, but bamboo straws might be an eco-friendly solution we can all agree on. While many paper straws go limp after a few sips, bamboo is a strong, durable material that can stand up to any beverage without losing its shape. Plus, they're biodegradale, just like paper straws. Consider these a paper straw upgrade.

Photo by: Photo Courtesy of Simply Straws

Photo Courtesy of Simply Straws

Glass Straws

If you want a reusable straw with the see-through aesthetic of a single-use plastic one, glass straws might be your answer. This one from Simply Straws even comes with a to-go pouch, so there’s really no excuse to use a plastic straw in your to-go cup.

Ice Straws

For a more do-it-yourself solution, you can try ice straws. You can purchase ice straw molds like these on Amazon. Stash a supply in the freezer and show off to your friends at parties.



Fancy Gourmet Chocolate Hazelnut Pirouline Wafer Cookie

Photo by: bhofack2


Pirouette Cookies

Pirouette cookies were never meant to be straws, but Starbucks changed all that by serving cookie straws in their Frappucinos in 2015. If you’ve got any of these hanging around, stick one in a cold glass of milk, and you’ll have one chocolatey surprise waiting for you.

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