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.
“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?
I 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.
- Like Eat Drink Better on Facebook
- Follow us on Twitter
- Follow us on Pinterest
- Like GlassDharma on Facebook
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: www.glassdharma.com