Reusable Straws Save Animals and People


Sandstraw is a reusable straw company that believes that every straw makes a difference.

Julia Moyer, Staff Writer

Who would’ve thought that something as small and simple as a plastic straw could do so much damage to our planet? It’s safe to say that by using plastic straws, we are not only harming our environment but killing our marine life. To keep our Earth and our oceans thriving, reusable straws are the way to go. They come in many different shapes and sizes, as well as different materials, including stainless steel, bamboo, and glass, all of which make a difference in terms of plastic pollution.

   Plastic straws are used every day, in homes, restaurants, coffee shops, and more. According to the Strawless Ocean Organization, Americans use over 500 million every day, which then end up polluting our oceans. If we don’t act now and discontinue their use, “…by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.” Some people might ask, well can’t they be recycled? The answer is most likely no, because they are “too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter.” With plastic straws being one of the top ten items found at the beach, once they make their way into the water, they break down into microplastics. Microplastics do not biodegrade and they are what the sea animals are ingesting (

   Stainless steel straws are one of the most popular alternatives to plastic straws. According to the Today Show, “There’s no weird metallic aftertaste and they’re curved, so they fit most tumblers and cups.” They are not only aesthetic but affordable as well. They are dishwasher safe and even come with their own cleaning brush. These reusable straws can be found pretty much anywhere online and in stores (

   Here at UC High, Senior Colin Ruthenburg is an active advocate for reusable straws, stainless steel in particular. Ruthenburg is the photographer for the company Sand Straw, which sells metal straws “..with the mission to help sea and land animals by donating ten percent of their profits to organizations that support those animals.” The five animals Sand Straw promotes protecting are dolphins, turtles, whales, fish, and sharks. He added, “I like the idea that you can sell something and have a business, while being able to give back to something you care about.”

   Bamboo straws are another eco-friendly substitute to plastic straws. They are made without dyes and harsh chemicals. According to the New York Magazine online, “Organic bamboo straws are often the cheapest option, so even though they’re meant to last a really long time, you also don’t have to feel bad about losing them or throwing them away.” These are so environmentally friendly that they could be dropped onto the ground and it wouldn’t matter, because they’re simply just sticks. Although you probably shouldn’t do that. One popular brand on Amazon is Buluh Straws, which come in an eight-pack for twelve dollars (

   Glass straws are yet another high-quality substitute to plastic straws. According to a vegan lifestyle website, “Most modern glass straws are made from borosilicate, which makes it shatter-resistant and break-resistant.” They are hypoallergenic and can be used in hot or cold drinks. The only downside is that they can be more on the expensive side. A popular brand of glass straws is Hummingbird Straws, which sells glass straws of different diameters and colors (

   Saving the earth one step at a time can be just as easy as buying reusable straws. They are non-toxic to you and our planet. If you think about it, by eliminating the use of plastic straws, you would also be sparing the lives of precious animals. If you want to change our world for the better, you can support brands like Sand Straw, Buluh Straws, and Hummingbird Straws. Just remember, reusable straws for the win!