Reusable Straws: Bamboo, Stainless Steel and others

what are the best reusable straws

With so many reusable straws available, you may be wondering - what are the best reusable straws?

Plastic straws, just like a lot of other single-use plastic items, poses a significant threat to our natural environments, waterways and oceans. Everyone knows the statistics, but they are worth repeating. In the US alone it is estimated that 500 million plastics straws are used every day and in Australia, this is estimated to be around 10 million straws are used.

According to Clean Up Australia, plastic straws are the 12th most common item reported on beach clean-ups.

a bunch plastic straws in someone's hand


When disposed of, plastic straws take hundreds or sometimes even thousands of of years to fully break down. Think about it this way, every single use plastic straw you have ever used will still exist today.

The sad news is that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. The good news is that we can prevent this from happening.

This all starts with more sustainable decisions in everyday life.

One switch that can be made is to stop using plastic straws and use more sustainable reusable straws as an alternative.

People of all ages and backgrounds seem very supportive of this sustainable movement. Coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and other businesses also seem very supportive of reusable straws.

Reusable straws are a great way to reduce our impact on the environment. If everyone would switch to reusable straws it would reduce the amount of plastic waste significantly.

There are a lot of companies and countries that have banned single-use plastic straws or plan to ban single-use plastic straws. More recently, the EU has announced a complete ban on single-use plastic straws by 2021. 

So, it would be good to have a reusable straw on hand. You might be wondering what the best reusable straws are. There are a couple of great reusable straw alternatives out there and we made a list for you.

bamboo straws

We are a bit biased (as these are our straws), but bamboo straws are our favourite kind of drinking straw. theotherstraw bamboo straws can be reused hundreds of times and are fully compostable at the end of their lifespan. Each set comes with a cleaning brush and straw bag so carrying around your reusable straws is a breeze. Our straws are ethically sourced in Northern Vietnam and made from sustainably grown bamboo. Bamboo is one of the world's fastest-growing plants and emits up to 35% more oxygen than trees and helps fight against climate change. Bamboo straws are the most sustainable alternative to plastic straws.

Bamboo straws are fully organic and made without the use of any chemicals and/or dyes. theotherstraw is a great all natural and eco-friendly reusable straw alternative to single-use plastic straws.

Bamboo is also one of the fastest growing plants in the world and can grow up to one meter a day and is the sustainable reusable straw alternative.

Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and a very durable material. Bamboo is even used in many construction projects around the world, especially in South East Asia!

Bamboo drinking straws are also lightweight and can be easily washed. Bamboo naturally grows in all shapes and sizes, therefore bamboo straws can come in a variety of different sizes. Even one size that fits your tumbler. 

We have an extensive range of reusable bamboo straws for all your drinks, from smoothies to ice coffees and from bubble tea to espresso martinis. Make sure to use your straw cleaner to clean your straws. Our wide range even includes a bubble tea straw which is perfect to fit those large tapioca pearls or for thicker smoothies and a cocktail straw for the afternoon g&t. 

Unlike many other reusable straw alternatives, bamboo straws are very neutral alternative. They will not affect the or change the flavour of your drink. They are a great alternative for plastic straws.


Orange juice with a bamboo straw


Bamboo straws also work great in different drinks, both in hot drinks and in cold drinks - from thick smoothies and milkshakes to iced coffees and cocktails. They are perfect for sensitive teeth too as they stay neutral in temperature meaning you won't burn or freeze yourself when using a bamboo straw. theotherstraw bamboo straws come in straw sets and include a natural straw cleaner, so you can always take them on the go and refuse plastic straws.

Imagine how many plastic straws you could save this year if you switched to a reusable drinking bamboo straw? 


plastic straws vs reusable bamboo straw

stainless steel straws

Steel straws can be very durable and easy to clean. They are also dishwasher safe.

Metal straws will unfortunately always remain on our planet as they last more than a lifetime.

Extra long stainless steel straws can work really well in long soda glasses. However, most common complaints are that they can be cold to drink from and they can leave a metal taste in your mouth. Some reusable metal straws can be recycled. So before purchasing a metal straw, try asking the supplier if they know of a local recycling centre where you can dispose of it when you're finished.


stainless steel straw in a smoothie


We still prefer stainless steel over plastic straws. If you're wondering where to buy reusable drinking straws (metal), Cali Woods has a great range here. They offer a 4 pack which includes 4 stainless steel straws.

glass straws

Glass straws come in different sizes and shapes and are quite versatile, there are even bent straws out there. Reusable glass straws are made from a neutral material meaning the glass straw will never affect the taste of your drink. They are dishwasher friendly which if you really don't like hand washing your straws. 

Not everyone likes the idea of a glass straw as they can break. Not something you want in your mouth right? Unfortunately, glass straws are not suitable for young children. 

silicone straws

Reusable silicone straws are normally BPA free as well which is needed for food-grade straws. Soft silicone is quite bendy as well so this works great if you want a flexible straw option.

Silicone straws are a great alternative as they will last for a very long time and they are soft on your mouth. They are dishwasher friendly and suitable for children.

However, silicon straws do have a 'rubbery' taste which can be unpleasant when enjoying your drink through it. Therefore, this may change the taste of your drink. Silicon decreases quality over time, and cannot be kept forever. Silicon straws are not biodegradable, therefore at the end of their lifespan, they will go to landfill, ultimately contributing to our waste issue. If you are interested in purchasing a silicone straw, check out the joco silicone roll straw.


silicone straws


paper straws

Nearly everyone has tried paper straws by now. However, we never really come across anyone that particularly likes them. Common complaints are that they get soggy and only last a couple of seconds, they don't go well with fizzy drinks and some of them taste like cardboard. The good thing is that they are a cheap single-use alternative to plastic straws that is better for the environment.

However, they are still not ideal. They are considered a first step away from plastic straws.

no straws 

Ideally, if you don't need to use a straw the best option would be to not use a straw at all. 

Your sea turtle mates will forever like you for it. However, there are still so many people out there that need and want a straw with particular drinks and offering a suitable reusable alternative is important to reduce waste.

reusable straws - final thoughts

Reusable drinking straws are a great alternative to single-use plastic straws. In Australia, there are many reusable straw alternatives available. We hope this article has helped you decide which reusable straws are best. Each reusable straw has its pros and cons, and it's up to as the sipper to decide which one is best for you. 

If you can, always pick a reusable straw over single use straw. Reuse over single use is much better for the planet.  

If you're wondering how to clean reusable straws, check out our latest post here. 

Do you have something about reusable straws you'd like to share? Tell us in the comments below! 

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