Food Waste

Published on May 9th, 2013 | by Mary Gerush


The Last Straw: Replace Plastic with Reusable Glass (+ a Giveaway!)

GlassDharma Reusable Glass Straws

We pollute America with an estimated 500 million plastic straws every day — enough to fill more than 127 school buses — every single day.

The Plastic Straw Problem

Those petroleum-based, non-biodegradable plastic tubes provide about 10 minutes of usefulness before they end up littering our streets, fields, and oceans. Miami Beach banned them in 2012 to keep its glorious sands clean. London’s Soho district launched a campaign called Straw Wars, asking restaurants and bars to omit straws unless they’re requested. And John Metcalf conjures up a vivid image in an article he wrote for The Atlantic Cities web site:

“Plastic straws are the viruses of garbage, tiny and lightweight enough to slip through the cracks of the waste-recycling process and into the pelagic ecosystem. Floating through rivers and sewers into the sea, straws join up with immense spiraling plastic garbage patches that choke hundreds of thousands of sea birds and turtles every year.”

I had not considered plastic straw pollution before doing research for this post, but the facts woke me up. I have two teenagers who use plastic straws a lot, and I’ve been known to use a cocktail straw or two on occasion. We recycle them most of the time, and even though we don’t toss them in the streets or ocean, I realize they make their way to a landfill somewhere eventually.

We Have An Alternative To Plastic Straws

Founded in 2007 with a mission to raise awareness of the environmental impact of plastic straws and provide an alternative, GlassDharma produces an array of reusable, glass drinking straws.

GlassDharma Short Glass Straws“Glass straws? Won’t they break?” you might ask. The folks at GlassDharma guarantee them for life. They make them from borosilicate glass — the strongest commercially available — and they follow a technique provided by Corning, Inc. to ensure the straws are super strong. If one of yours breaks under normal conditions of use, they’ll replace it.

“Won’t they be hard to clean?” Nope — they’re dishwasher safe, and you can buy perfectly-sized scrubbing brushes for a quick cleaning under warm water.

I had the opportunity to try them out this week, and I’m a fan. Not only do GlassDharma’s straws give us an opportunity to change our bad habits, they’re gorgeous — elegant, crystal clear, and beautifully rounded on each end. The straws come in varying diameters and lengths, providing options for beverages from iced tea to smoothies to bubble tea. They produce straws adorned with colored dots and a Beautiful Bend design with a “grace all its own.” Why would anyone use an ugly, earth-unfriendly plastic straw again?

GlassDharma Dot Glass StrawsI salute GlassDharma for its beautiful, durable, functional products. I also applaud its mission to help the planet. I’ll be ordering a set for my family. You can order them directly from GlassDharma or through a number of retail outlets.

A GreenDharma Glass Straw Giveaway

GlassDharma has generously provided a $25 gift certificate to be used on its web site for one lucky winner. To win a chance, leave a comment below telling us why you think reusable straws are a good idea. To boost your odds, do any of the following and add a new comment to this post (using the same user information) for each action once you’ve completed it.

Please post all comments by Monday, May 13. We’ll choose the winner randomly from all comments and announce the lucky “straw beneficiary” later that week.

What do you think of the idea? Will you take the straw-free challenge?

Images, Samples, and Giveaways Graciously Provided By:

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About the Author

Hi all! I'm Mary Gerush - a recovering corporate worker bee turned good-farm-real-food advocate and writer who wants to help people understand what they're eating. I tend a tiny urban farm in Dallas, TX, and hope to scale up one day soon. Omnivore through-and-through, there's not much I love to eat more than a butter-basted grass fed steak fresh from a searing hot cast iron skillet. Follow me on , , and !

31 Responses to The Last Straw: Replace Plastic with Reusable Glass (+ a Giveaway!)

  1. JessB says:

    What a great idea! My kids love straws but I hate buying them because it is so wasteful. This is the perfect way to get around that. Now I just need to figure out the best size to buy for them:-)

  2. Rachel says:

    Reusable straws sound great! It’s the same idea as in Taiwan, where people carry their own reusable chopsticks instead of using disposables. It keeps from wasting resources and you know for a fact that you’re using something high-quality, which isn’t laced with any sort of dyes or chemicals.

  3. Rachel says:

    I like Eat Drink Better on Facebook!

  4. andy says:

    reduce, recycle, reuse,

  5. Anne A. says:

    I liked Eat Drink Better on Facebook.

  6. Angela Crimmins says:

    I Like EDB on Facebook

  7. Angela Crimmins says:

    I follow EDB on Twitter

  8. Angela Crimmins says:

    I follow on Pintrest

  9. Anne A. says:

    I like GlassDharma on Facebook.

  10. Angela Crimmins says:

    Great product! I love straws but won’t use the disposable ones once I heard how harmful they are.

  11. Anne A. says:

    Good idea as we should reduce, recycle, reuse, and repeat.

  12. Anne A. says:

    I follow you on Pinterest.

  13. Chin Ting says:

    What a terrific idea!!!!

  14. Jenn M. says:

    We like reusable straws, but find that stainless steel ones get too cold when drinking shakes or smoothies. A glass straw sounds perfect!

  15. Jenn M. says:

    I like Eat Drink Better on FB.

  16. Jess says:

    I think reusable straws are great because it cuts down on the amount I need to store. Think 5 glass straws for my family instead of the pack of 50 we have to buy at the store.

  17. Jess says:

    Like you on FB.

  18. Jess says:

    Following on Pinterest.

  19. Jess says:

    Like GlassDharma on FB too.

  20. Ashley says:

    I use straws everyday, and even though I reuse them multiple times, I still dislike the idea of throwing so much plastic away. I would love to win these!

  21. Ashley says:

    I like you on FB

  22. Ashley says:

    I like them on FB, too

  23. Ashley says:

    I follow you on twitter

  24. Ashley says:

    I follow you on pinterest ;0

  25. William Furr says:

    Why not just drink out of the glass? For a milkshake or something thick, use a spoon. I don’t see the point in buying yet another unneeded thing OR using plastic straws.

  26. Christina says:

    I follow on facebook and I have to say, as an avid straw user due to teeth sensitivity I truly like the idea. I was already considering having several for my family as well as being able to stash some in my purse to take out to restaurants. Great idea!

  27. AEM says:

    Did you try to break it? I’m curious to know if it would truly not break under normal circumstances and would likely try to find out! (As my daughter says, “Daddy, it’s for science.”)

    • Gail Johnson says:

      Hello- this is Gail co-founder with David of Glassdharma. Yes, they can break (they don’t like tile floors!) but they are very durable and under normal conditions. We ask that you don’t try to test them.

    • Mary Gerush says:

      They’re too beautiful to experiment with. I will warn you NOT to put them in the garbage disposal. They don’t like it much. :-(

  28. Sounds great. We love to buy bubble teas and we keep the straws but this is better.

  29. Mary Gerush says:

    Congratulations to Ashley – winner of the Glass Dharma gift certificate! Have fun with your new straws!

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