Over 100 million marine animals die each year due to marine debris, according to the Sea Turtle Conservancy. And more than half of the world’s sea turtles have ingested some plastic or human trash.
We are doing something about it…
Plastic straws have quickly become a symbol of the world’s unnecessary reliance on plastic. Even more, they have become a symbol of plastic’s horrific effects on the environment.
Plastic straws cause pollution and damage to the environment during its entire lifespan. After all, plastic is made from oil (a non-renewable fossil fuel), and plastic pollution can harm or even kill a large variety of marine animals.
One way to reduce the impact of plastic straws on the environment is to simply stop using plastic straws: You can either drink directly from a cup, or use a reusable alternative to plastic.
Reusable stainless steel straws are such an alternative. They are much better than plastics, for more than just the reason of benefiting the environment! Here are 8 benefits of stainless steel straws.
1) Safety & Ease of Use
There are many other alternatives to plastic straws, like glass and bamboo. However, stainless steel ones are still recommended. Here’s why:
Glass straws may bring some stylishness and elegance to your dining table. However, they can easily break, especially when handled by kids. Even though the chance of glass straws breaking is unlikely, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
What about bamboo straws, you may ask? They may be eco-friendly, but they are more likely to break, and harder to clean due to their uneven surface.
In comparison to bamboo and glass straws, stainless steel versions have a number of advantages. They are significantly more durable than both glass and bamboo straws, and safer as well.
And, in case you didn’t know, stainless steel is also rust-proof. You won’t have to worry about your reusable straws rusting or breaking after only a few uses!
2) Easy to Clean
I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that we all hate to clean things, whatever they may be.
The good thing is that stainless steel straws are super easy to clean!
Just like other metal kitchenware, stainless steel straws are dishwasher-safe. Cleaning them is as easy as it can get.
All you need to do is rinse the straw after use, and then toss it into the dishwasher.
Apart from being dishwasher-safe, most stainless steel straws will come with a cleaning brush when you buy them. This makes it easy to clean the straw almost effortlessly.
Overall, you shouldn’t have a problem with cleaning and maintaining stainless steel straws.
3) Uniqueness & Elegance
Everyone likes a set of elegant cutlery to top up your home dining experience.
Why not complete your kitchen’s silverware set with a collection of shiny stainless steel straws?
Plastic (left) Vs. Stainless Steel Straws (right). Image courtesy of www.quotecatalog.com / CC BY 2.0
The uniqueness of stainless steel straws and their shiny appearance gives them a sense of elegance.
The shiny appearance of matching-colour cutlery and stainless steel straws looks amazing and makes for great aesthetic appeal.
4) Ease of Portability
Stainless steel straws have a sturdy metallic build. They can be easily packed and carried around wherever you go, whereas glass is particularly fragile in this aspect.
Furthermore, stainless steel straws are a perfect choice for those of us who love drinking fruit juices/smoothies at work. You can easily pack one and get it out for use in the office, or where ever you work.
Manufacturing new plastic is quite cheap today. Petroleum, the source of plastics, is still abundant. That’s partly why very few companies and governments care about the amount of plastic we use each day.
What’s worse, plastic straws are designed to be used only once, and then thrown away. Over time, that has proved to be a disaster for the environment.
Stainless straws, on the other hand, are easily reusable and highly durable as well. Metal lasts much longer than plastic, and stainless steel straws can last for years if you keep them cleaned and maintained.
The process of making plastic products involves the release of toxic chemicals and fumes. These dangerous by-products eventually find their way into the earth’s environment through air, water, and land pollution.
To make matters worse, if plastic straws are improperly disposed, they can make their way into lakes or oceans. There, plastic pollution harms marine wildlife and ecosystems.
For example, when ingested, plastic particles can be highly toxic to marine life. Larger particles can even clog the gills of fish or choke animals that mistake it for food.
A dead albatross with a stomach full of plastics
When you use reusable straws, the majority of these negative effects can be completely mitigated. Pollution during the manufacturing process will be reduced because you continue to use the same reusable straw for a long time. There also won’t be any risk of plastic pollution, since you aren’t using plastic!
In this aspect, one benefit of stainless steel straws (and reusable straws in general) is that they are more environmentally friendly than plastic.
7) Less Waste in Landfills
Landfills everywhere, and without a doubt, the single largest component in them is plastic waste.
For instance, the world produces 335 million metric tons of plastic every year. Only a very small percentage of that gets recycled, with the rest either ending up in the ocean, or piling up in landfills.
Plastic can take 1000 years or even more to degrade and decompose. That’s a whole millennium of leaching potentially dangerous pollutants into the Earth! This can harm our soil, water, and the atmosphere. And we haven’t even begun discussing what an eyesore plastic waste is!
Image of a landfill
Single-use plastic straws are particularly contributing hugely to the landfill problem, and one way to reduce plastic straw waste is to use reusable stainless steel straws.
8) Less Overall Economic Cost
Plastic straws are cheaper than stainless steel alternatives when considered as single units. However, we need to look at the cost in the long-term to get the real picture.
Plastic straws are single-use items. We use a plastic straw once, throw it away, and then use new one when needed. Consider the number of straws you use in one year. What’s their overall cost? Then, compare that with a single metallic straw that you can use and re-use for years.
Another way to look at this is the cost to the environment and the global healthcare system. Destroying the environment with landfills full of toxic non-biodegradable plastics and plastic-derived chemicals is one thing. But there is also the cost of their negative impact to the environment, air, water, animals, human beings, etc.
Have you ever thought of the health impact of toxic chemicals and fumes to humans? What about the money spent to train doctors and equip hospitals for diseases we can avoid? What about the amount of money spent by governments to clear landfills and dispose of plastic?
There are so many financial costs associated with the use of plastics. We can avoid, or at least reduce them, if we shifted to the use of plastic alternatives that are reusable.
From our discussion in this article, we’ve seen how great stainless steel straws are. We’ve compared them to glass, bamboo, and most importantly plastic.
We’ve also seen how bad plastic can be for our environment. We’ve seen the costs it can bring to the economy. Yet many of these negative effects can be avoided if we decided to use stainless steel straws. They’re more eco-friendly, more durable, and have a better aesthetic value.
Make a decision to start using reusable straws today. Enjoy their great benefits over the other types of straws, or completely ditch straws altogether and just drink without a straw.
It’s time we start taking care of Mother Earth. Join the cause to making our planet a safer and cleaner place.
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