I'll never use plastic straws again after finding these metal ones that don't change the taste of my drinks at all
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- We create about 88 pounds of plastic a year - per person. And even if you sort your plastics into the right bins, less than 9% of plastic is actually recycled.
- That's because some things like single-use straws and utensils are too small to be processed by recycling plants and get dumped in a landfill only to then make their way into the ocean.
- This five-piece set of metal straws from Amazon is an easy alternative to using plastic straws, and I'll never use anything else ever again.
I'd like to think that I was always pretty green - I reuse plastic bags from the grocery store as garbage bags, I donate clothes instead of throwing them out, and I sort my recyclables accordingly. But it wasn't until I started reading about the disastrous effects of single-use plastics that I realized just how un-eco-friendly I really was. Suddenly, I started noticing just how many of the plastic straws I'd pilfered from my office were strewn across my apartment.
Now, you might think that plastic straws can just go into the recycling bin, but you'd be wrong. In fact, maddeningly enough, most plastic straws don't even get recycled. They're so thin and small that recycling plants can't process them so they get chucked out into a landfill along with the rest of the trash and float out into the ocean sooner or later.
So, in an effort to actually live more eco-friendly this time and reduce my own plastic usage, I started using metal straws. This $10 set from Amazon comes with two angled straws for normal drinks like water or juice, two straight straws for thick drinks like smoothies, and a cleaning brush not unlike a pipe cleaner or mascara spoolie brush that you run through the straw to get rid of gunk.
The straws are made of food-grade stainless steel that won't rust and is free of BPA (which comes from hard plastics), phthalates, and lead. When I first used them, I was worried that I might taste that distinctive, and frankly, disgusting metal tang, but they actually didn't taste like anything or change the taste of my drinks at all. In fact, most of the time, I don't even register that I'm using a metal straw - to me, it's just a straw. I use them at home and at work, though I haven't graduated to bringing them out to a restaurant yet. In those situations, I just tell the waiter that I don't want a plastic straw.
Of course, I need to acknowledge that forgoing plastic straws isn't going to make a difference if we're still using plastic bags or water bottles, or if recycling plants can't figure out a way to properly process them, but for me, at least it's a start. In fact, it has led to other good habits like refusing plastic utensils from my takeout orders, bringing my own tote bags to the grocery store, and even composting.
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