Cathedral City, California, city council members voted unanimously to table a ban on plastic straws. If passed, the eateries–fast food restaurants, cafes, bars, even mom & pop locations–would have been banned from giving out plastic straws–including biodegradable and compostable options! This rule would also apply to organizations hosting events where the refreshments include drinks.
The one exception to this rule concerns the disabled, who could receive a plastic straw upon request; and businesses would be allowed to give out straws made of other, non-plastic materials.
While the city’s straws are safe, for now, the issue came with passionate debate. Supporters claim that plastic straws are hard to recycle and pose environmental concerns. They brought up the amount of plastic that makes its way into the oceans and the damage this does to marine life.
If you are one of the many hoping that plastic straws cease to exist, here are five alternatives to consider:
This glass straw won’t disappear anytime soon unless you lose it. Palm Springs, California, lifestyle blogger Nicole Bowen recommends this item because it has its own carrying pouch and cleaning brush. She says, “It’s a heavy-weight, almost Pyrex-like glass that doesn’t feel like it will break. Under $20. Long enough for a large iced coffee.” The only cons found with this item is having to carry it around. And if you like going to happy hour? Be prepared for a straw much longer than a rocks glass.
According to Alena Maschke, a watchdog reporter from local California newspaper Desert Sun, these straws are unlikely to end up in the nose of a sea turtle or in a trash wave rolling onto a distant beach, “…which makes me sleep a tiny bit better at night.” The cons? “The metal feels funny on your teeth at first, and you have to remember to clean and bring them with you every day. Otherwise, all feelings of moral superiority will go right out the drive-through window.”
Now you can sip your straw and eat it too! This all in one meal is made possible thanks to PastaStraws. One-hundred percent vegan, biodegradable, and surprisingly effective, these are better than flimsy paper or even pricy bamboo straws. There is even a premium version of the product, claimed to have “thicker walls, crispier edges, and a plastic-like texture while maintaining all the great eco-friendly properties of the original PastaStraw.” A gluten free version is even in the works for those with Celiac disease. Sold in bulk, you can get them in quantities of 1,000. However, if you don’t need quite so many straws, a sample package of 24 is available.
Coming in many sizes, as short as 6.25 inches all the way up to 10, and multiple widths, here is another glass option. Unlike Impact Mill Collective’s starter kit, it doesn’t come with a carrying pouch or a brush, but one could easily be purchased online. “I’ve never had one break on me,” says Caitlin Deane of Joshua Tree, California, “but I feel like stainless steel is another good option, too, and less fragile.”
Another metal option. These rainbow suckers offer you your drink without environmental harm. These straws do come with a cleaning brush. Available for $10.99 for an eight piece set, straight and slightly bent options together, there is no easy excuse to use single-use plastic.