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3 Eco-Friendly Straws to Love (Plus 1 That Sucks!)

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hand holding pile of dirty straws at beach

Save money and the planet.

With so many huge companies like Starbuck’s and Whole Foods phasing out plastic straws for good, I sought out to find the best eco-friendly and reusable straws that you’ll love while still sipping on your favorite drinks. I’m even sharing a (somewhat) eco-friendly option that’s pretty much the worst!


Why phase out plastic straws?

Here are some reasons why big companies are doing away with them all together:

  • They contain BPA which can’t be recycled.
  • Those that can be recycled are too lightweight or slip through the cracks on the mechanical recycling sorters.
  • Straws make up a large part of beach pollution and aren’t biodegradable.
  • They are extremely harmful and even fatal to marine life due to getting stuck or ingested.
  • It’s been calculated that by 2050 there will be more weight in straws than fish in the oceans.
  • Approximately 500 million straws are used each day in America alone.
  • Research has shown traces of plastic in Sea Salt, 94% of tap water, and shellfish.

Here are the best eco-friendly, reusable straws we love:


1. Metal eco-friendly reusable straws

metal straw in strawberry smoothie

Here’s why we love them:

  • Durable
  • Keep your drink cold as you sip
  • Easy to clean
  • No leaking of material or chemicals into your drink
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Recyclable when they’ve exhausted their lifespan
  • BPA free making them safe to use
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Kid-safe

3 eco-friendly reusable metal straws I love:

“Four different sizes that will fit any size tumbler or glass.”


“Great for sipping on thick smoothies and milkshakes!”


“Colored silicone tips are great for knowing which drink is yours at any party and protects your teeth.”


2. Silicone eco-friendly reusable straws

two glasses with red and orange iced drinks and straws

Here’s why we love them:

  • Extremely kid-friendly
  • Soft on your teeth
  • Easy to clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Recyclable when they’ve exhausted their lifespan
  • No leaking of material or chemicals into your drink
  • Durable
  • Portable and lightweight

Here are eco-friendly reusable silicone straws I love:

“Has an innovative design to reach every last drop in your drink!”


“Unique snap feature makes cleaning so easy!”


“Comes with a case and easily collapsible so you can take it anywhere!”


3. Bamboo eco-friendly reusable straws

bamboo drinking straws in pink green and purple glasses

Here’s why we love them:

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Durable and last a long time
  • Come from a renewable source
  • Contain no inks or dyes
  • Durable
  • Can be disposed of anywhere since they’re a natural material
  • Tend to be the cheapest option for reusable straws

Here are 3 eco-friendly reusable bamboo straws I love:

Worthy Picks Buluh Organic Bamboo Straws – $13

“Come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee!”


NaturalNeo Organic Bamboo Straws – $10

“Comes with assorted sizes to fit all your cups needs.”


Clean Planetware Bulk Pack of Bamboo Straws – $38+

“Perfect for your next big party and you won’t have to feel guilty if some get thrown out.”


The worst eco-friendly straw:

1. Paper straws

soggy floral paper straws in cup of water

Here’s why they suck – pun intended 😉:

  • They get soggy – If we don’t drink our entire glass in about 30 seconds flat, we found paper straws to get totally soggy and gross.
  • They feel weird and dry on your tongue – Basically, everything a drink shouldn’t make you feel.
  • Dyes and chemicals – Paper straws are often dyed to have cute designs, but when they’re submerged in liquid, they’ll begin to break down and leak into your drink.
  • They’re still wasteful – The reason we love switching from plastic is to also be able to reuse straws. Paper ones have to be trashed after one use, therefore, these aren’t the most eco-conscious choice.

Have you see these 6 cool things you can try before you buy them?!

Join The Discussion

Comments 68

  1. ashley

    I just picked up a 4 pack of rainbow stainless straws at aldi for about $4. They also come with a cleaning brush.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      What a great find! Thanks for sharing with us! I’ll have to look for those the next time I’m in my ALDI!

    • gege1804

      Okay, i got to take a look in Aldi. Thank you for the tip.

    • ashley

      Actually just realized when I opened my drawer it was a six pack, so even better deal.

  2. Ang

    Thank you for this post 🙂 we recently purchased stainless straws for our household and ask to skip the straw at restaurants. Every little bit helps!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Great idea, Ang! You’re so welcome!

  3. Annie

    I love silicone straws..GoSili has been my favorite brand. My 1 year old also likes to use it when she is teething.

  4. patricialavenz-goff

    We never use straws. We just drink out of cups.

    • Amy

      Yeah, if only everyone would do this. If people were really worried about the environment. Think about the manufacturing energy used, shipping, distribution of these reuseable straws. I do know what in some cases straws are necessary. Like small children, hospitals, nursing homes, etc… but most people can drink from a cup or glass.

      • Teri

        I have to use a straw to drink. I have from Essential Tremors and would be wearing every drink otherwise. I literally have sat in the kitchen floor and cried over spilled milk.

      • rebecca

        also when in the car, need a straw. and some people have sensitive teeth and need a straw to bypass that feeling a little bit. plus, we drink a lot of mixed drinks (adding fruit or syrups) and the straws double as a swizzle stick.

  5. Tiff

    I love my silicone straws! My kit came with a carrying case (velvet bag that I carry in my purse) three smoothie straws,three regular straws, and one metal straw plus, the cleaning brushes!! I’m slowly and surly making a small difference in my family’s plastic footprint!

    • Angela V.

      Hi Tiff, would you mind sharing where you got that set/what brand it is? I think the variety you mentioned would be perfect for my family. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Cate

    Second time I see the word hate this week☹️ when speaking of a product. Could we find another adjective. There’s enough of that word in the world already.

    • Lora

      Agree

    • emily

      How about loathe, or detest… or maybe abhor. They’re all just words, and we’re talking about straws NOT people. Seems to me people spend too much time looking for something petty, like a four letter word, to complain about.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for your feedback! We have updated the post!

      • Frecklelily

        Hahaha…sucks! Oh the irony. 😂

        • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

          😉

          • CAJ

            I, too, got a kick out of it!!!

            • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

              Glad to hear it! 🙌😂

  7. BrBa

    We <3 Kleen Kanteen straws! They are metal but have a silicone tip, so they're safe for children and super easy to clean too! They even come w/ a cleaning brush. You can get them on Amazon 🙂

  8. Frecklelily

    We just got ours yesterday! These things are HUGE! Great if you enjoy smoothies. Colors are beautiful and each family member has claimed their color already. Dishwasher safe…which is very important to me. Reusable Silicone Straws & Cleaning Brush: BPA Free/Dishwasher Safe Drinking Straw – Long 10″ Bendy Rubber Reusable Straws for Tumbler or Smoothie Drinks – 10 Straws & 2 Brushes for Kids or Adults https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GDC8JSV/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_RL2gDbENZWG82

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing with us!

  9. Ivan

    Do whatever you makes you happy….but please know plastic straws aren’t the problem they are made out to be. They comprise a very, very small percentage (0.03%) of plastic waste that gets dumped into our oceans every year.

    • Amie

      My mom used to tell me you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. The fact is disposable straws harms marine life. Let’s be part of the solution…

    • Flgrl017

      Yes, we need to cut back/eliminate all plastic products. Not just straws.

  10. flgrl017

    Thank you for this post!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re very welcome!

  11. Linda

    As the mother of a handicapped child who can only drink through a straw it has become a real challenge in public places. I understand the environmental concerns, but I wish people would think before they make comments like “why can’t people just drink out of a cup”. Drinking through a straw can be one of only a few independent tasks for some handicapped individuals. I tried stainless steel, she chipped a tooth. Silicone she chewed on. I just got the stainless steel with silicone tips and hope we are successful with those. I agree that paper straws are awful!

    • Ivan

      Sorry to hear about your situation. It’s PC run amok. My parents (both in their 80’s) never drink without a straw. I never understood why until I asked recently. They said a lot of servers put their hands around the top of the glass when bringing drinks to the table and it’s not hygienic to drink w/o a straw. Again, to each his own.

    • Sarah

      Yes. Disabled people have been very open about the NEED for plastic, disposable straws and the problems that the alternatives pose. We can be environmentally conscious without it coming at the expense of disabled people.

    • Hblog

      It breaks my heart that you feel judged because of your family’s need for plastic straws. Please continue using them without guilt. I’m glad to see other options for people who they work for but they don’t work for everyone. One thing I’ve noticed is that none of the reusable ones bend.

  12. dblD amber

    A must for anyone going to Disney. My kids hated their paper straws so these came in very handy

  13. Mrs. G

    Cue all the people arguing 😑

  14. kharrington

    I’m so it irritated with this whole ban the straws band wagon! Wth are we suppose to use to drink Starbucks drinks without a straw??? I mean seriously!
    There are so many more serious things to worry about than plastic straws rn!
    My 22 yr old daughter is on this wagon too and she asked for reusable metal straws for her bday. We picked up a nice inexpensive set on Amazon that came with a cleaner too. She loves them!

    • Ash

      Really?? You’re worried about drinking Starbucks? I think you need to get a grip.

      • Jenn

        Second this! Being worried more about drinking Starbucks than marine life… okay.. get yourself reusable straws too…your daughter is on the right track.

  15. Katie

    I’ve tried most of the straws there are. At first, I used to use plastic straws all the time, then switched to glass ones but unfortunately they tend to chip and break fast. Then I switched to stainless steel straws but they felt too rigid and not really comfortable for me to use. Paper straws were the most comfortable and they didn’t tend to get soggy for me for some reason like the post mentioned but it felt too wasteful to use them, so I’ve tried hey straws, thet were kind of pricey though. The only straw I didn’t try is silicone, it might be a good compromise. Personally, I didn’t like reusable straws because it’s a hassle for me to clean them, there are thousand things to do in a day and I just don’t have time for that. So after all the “struggle” with straws I just decided to quit the “straw game” cold turkey, it’s been several years now and I never looked back, I don’t have a need for then anymore. I think we’re just addicted to straws for some reason.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us, Katie!

  16. Keepin’ It Green

    Thanks for posting…so that everyone can see that there are other alternatives to the plastic straw! I’m looking forward to the day when no businesses/offer plastic straws.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re very welcome!

    • Sarah

      I hope that day never comes. There are many disabled people that NEED plastic straws.

      • Casey

        Without question there are people that need them, but the majority do not. I hope businesses offer rather than stick a straw in for me. My preference, for environmental reasons, is to not use them, but I feel obligated when they just stick a straw in without giving me the option.

  17. Cat

    Just an FYI, but our experience with bamboo straws & soda (especially in cans) is they make the soda fizz and leak up and out of the straw. I still love my bamboo straws, we just use the metal ones for soda.😀 Thanks for the informative post!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for the helpful comment, Cat! Good to know

  18. Katherine

    I found a cute pack of colored reusable straws in the Target party aisle. I mainly use them as coffee stirrers but they are also on hand if anyone needs one for traditional use. I bought a multi size straw cleaning set from Amazon recently and use that to clean them.

  19. CAJ

    I’ve used the gamut of straws and still do. Here’s my take:

    Paper: forget them, it’s easier to drink from a cup

    Silicone: safest out there, get the thick diameter for smoothies. Rinse after use. Clean in the dishwasher.

    Stainless steel: my favorite, straight or bent, thick (smoothie or milkshake) or thin (water, tea or soda, which I drink way too fast if I drink soda through the thick straw). I like how they keep the cold drink cold up until it hits your lips. Problem is washing them. They are so thin, they slip through the dishwasher silverware tray. So I had wash them in the sink and let them dry standing in the utensil jar. However…a word of safety with these. Never drink from one of these while in motion (driving or walking etc) if you were to fall or have an accident they could be driven through the roof of your mouth into you sinuses/brain. (I know that sounds unlikely and pretty horrible, but I’m a nurse and I know these things happen). For that reason, I don’t give these straws to my little ones!

    As a side note, I never thought straws would cause such controversy here. Seems you either love or loathe them. My dentist recommended straw usage especially with drinks that stain (like coffees, teas and colas) to get the drink past your front teeth and to the back of your mouth).

    • CAJ

      Oh and we have an autistic child that has sensory issues who has to use a straw and the only kind he can handle is a plastic one. We wash and reuse these for as long as we can (usually until he chews the end!! Haha!)

    • DAS

      Yes, metal straws can in fact pose a danger (as ridiculous as that sounds). A woman in Britain died recently when she collapsed while holding a drink with a steel straw. Coroner is specifically warning people never to use metal straws with any type of cup which holds a straw in place – such as a mason jar cup with lid. Please be careful!
      https://nypost.com/2019/07/09/metal-drinking-straw-impales-uk-womans-brain-killing-her/

  20. Ashley

    Though I love my metal straws there actually are quality paper straws. They don’t last all day but they will last for 1+ glasses.

  21. Amanda

    I have a set of silicon straws that came with a cleaning brush however I’m having a hard time getting them clean enough. I rinse and rinse but my water ends up tasting soapy next time I use a straw. Any tips for cleaning them?

    • JD

      Possibly. I use the Bubba silicone straws from Target. The openings are large and easy to clean and I’ve never noticed a problem with this method. Use a very mild dish soap like the old fashioned Ivory or those intended for washing baby bottles. After washing allow the straws to soak in plain water for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse again under running water reversing the ends of the straws periodically under the running water. Works for me. Hope it helps you.

  22. Mod Mom

    Can anyone recommend durable glass straw? I prefer glass. Thanks for any recommendations and this post!

  23. Vasu reddy

    My kids are using stainless straws from couple of years. Easy to clean and I even put them in dishwasher. Great design! Bought from amazon.

  24. Gina

    Saw this idea recently at a swanky coffee shop, but thought it was genius! A pasta noodle as the straw. Not sure of the appropriate name for this long, circular hollow noodle, but great for the earth and not plastic. Goes in the ocean, it gets eaten. Obvi not appropriate for gluten sensitivities but a small step in the right direction, and we all know pasta is inexpensive.

  25. Casey Meyers

    No straw is really dishwasher safe it can’t get in the tiny whole. You have to hand wash it.

  26. EH

    Please be careful with the metal straws! I almost lost a front tooth when I was bumped in to while drinking with one! I will wash the plastic ones, but I will never again use a metal straw. They are dangerous! I cannot even imagine letting my grandchildren use them.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      OUCH! Thanks so much for the warning!

  27. Liz

    Celiac & Gluten free people need to be aware that some of those paper straws contain gluten as well.

  28. EH

    A woman has died after falling with a metal straw. The straw pierced her eye. I knew they were dangerous when I almost lost a front tooth when I was bumped while drinking. I use the plastic washable straws now! I cannot imagine what a metal straw might do to the mouth of a child, if they were running and fell, or were bumped! Please share. Here is the link to the story about the death of the lady when the straw pierced her eye and brain. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/07/09/metal-drinking-straw-fatally-impales-woman-england/1684768001/?fbclid=IwAR3C5il0ms88jV3emPBSZA_sbceEvEq5IeHsyOPiXNDMWv4DZgGtqk-01f8

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      OH NO! SO very sorry to hear about that! Thanks a bunch for the warning, EH!

  29. Sue

    You can also buy glass straws by Hummingbird Glass Straws off of Amazon. They got good reviews.

  30. rebecca

    for those complaining that there is a legitimate NEED for plastic straws for many reasons, restaurants are still carrying plastic straws, you just have to ask for them if the restaurant has removed them from the self-serve area.
    they have them behind the counter free for handicapped individuals, children, etc.

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