Our test winners are the HÅLM Glass Drinking Straw Set as well as the Stainless Steel Straws by Purity: The straws are of high quality and dishwasher safe. Our favourite with the test grade 9.4/10!
We have tested 9 alternative straws made of stainless steel, glass, and paper, paying special attention to cleaning and taste.
Did you know that more plastic waste ends up in our oceans through strawsthan through plastic bags? From 2021 a ban on disposable plastic products will be introduced in the EU. There are now many alternatives to the standard drinking straw.
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The drinking straws Glaswerk Medium from TFA Dostmann are wonderfully suited as an ecological alternative to the standard plastic straw. The glass straws are reusable and can be cleaned in the dishwasher or with the cleaning brush included in the delivery. It should be emphasized that the alternative glass straws are completely tasteless.
The Glass Drinking Straw Set from HALM is an optimal ecological alternative to plastic straws. The straws are completely tasteless. They are reusable and dishwasher safe. Whether thin or thick, hot or cold, with or without gas: With these alternative straws, every drink is delivered to your mouth in an optimal proportion.
The Stainless Steel Straws are delivered in a practical closable fabric bag. Whether a cocktail, smoothie or a rhubarb spritzer: with the alternative made of stainless steel, every drink is dosed in an optimal proportion for the bit. The drinking straws are reusable and can be cleaned either with the cleaning brush or in the dishwasher. The stainless steel straws are a great ecological alternative and a real eye-catcher.
The sSainless steel drinking straws by HOOMEE are a good ecological alternative to the commercial plastic straws. A pleasant drinking experience is guaranteed. The drinking straws are reusable, break-proof and dishwasher safe. The only problem is that the straws are not completely tasteless.
The Plastic Reusable Straws from OUNONA are available in different colours. With these straws no taste is falsified, they are completely tasteless. They are also reusable and dishwasher safe. Whether thin or thick, hot or cold, with or without sparkling water, with these alternative straws every drink is delivered to your mouth in an optimal proportion. The only negative point is that the alternative straws are shipped in plastic packaging.
The Bamboo Drinking Straws by Bambaw are supplied in a practical and sealable fabric bag. Optically they are a real eye-catcher. The drinking straws are reusable and can be easily cleaned with the included cleaning brushes. It should be noted that alternative straws are not completely tasteless.
The Silicone Straws from Uarter is available in many different bright colours. Perfect for children's birthday parties. The straws are reusable and dishwasher safe. They are also very flexible for added fun. We have to criticize the intense taste, which hardly any drink can overshadow, and which is by far the strongest of all the alternatives we have tested.
The Pasta Strawsby Stroodle are not re-usable. It is positively noted, that they are biodegradable. It's definitely a cool idea because it doesn't produce waste. The drinks are transported to the mouth in an appropriate proportion. A negative aspect is that the alternative drinking straws stick a little to the lips. With tasteless drinks, the pasta's own taste, especially in the aftertaste, stands out clearly. Beverages with more intense flavours largely drown out their own taste.
The Paper Drinking Straws from eBoot are biodegradable and a real eye-catcher at every party. I find it contradictory that an alternative to plastic straws is delivered in plastic packaging. The paper straws are for single use only. With viscous drinks, you notice that the paper straw is reaching its limits. Another negative aspect is that these alternative straws are not completely tasteless.
To facilitate cleaning, do not allow the liquids in the straw to dry.
Alternative straws are also suitable for taking them along with you. This eliminates the need for additional plastic straws for to-go drinks.
In the run-up to the test, we defined practical requirements and the following test criteria:
In order to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for alternative straws. In these, the following drinks are consumed with all straws: smoothies, passion fruit spritzer, cola, water, and tea. When drinking, the taste neutrality of the straws is assessed. Furthermore, it is tested how well the different drinks can be drunk. It is checked whether everything passes through the straw without any problems and whether the quantity is appropriate. In an endurance test, the straws are left in the liquid and it is checked how long they last. If the straws have not dissolved or are soaked, it is assessed whether they are still reusable. Finally, the cleaning process is evaluated. It is tested whether the alternative straws are dishwasher safe or have to be cleaned by hand.
In order to rule out errors and to ensure the stress of everyday use, each test takes place in several rounds.
The test criteria are given percentages depending on their importance. The final score is then objectively calculated from the test criteria using an algorithm.
Our product selection is based on an observation of the current market. In addition to popular branded products, we also include insider tips in our selection. Criteria such as price and range of functions are an important factor for us. The test field is also determined by analysis and evaluation of customer reviews and external tests (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).
The devices are purchased anonymously or lent to us by the manufacturer. Dealers and manufacturers have no influence on the tests and our evaluation.
As soon as new relevant products come onto the market, our test field is extended by these. The new products go through the same test as the already tested devices.
Environmentally friendly alternatives for packaging are on the rise, not through a rethink on the part of manufacturers, but through clear legal regulations. The European Parliament has passed strict regulations on the future handling of plastic waste, which many manufacturers are now putting under pressure. This represents a major step towards environmental awareness, which is likely to have a positive effect on the oceans in particular. There are now already 140 tonnes of plastic waste in the oceans, and this figure is constantly rising. The following legal regulations now take precedence over this:
From 2021, disposable plastic straws will be banned throughout the EU. Disposable plastic dishes, such as plates, cups, and cutlery, will also be completely banned by this time. Cotton swabs and drinks Stirring sticks must then no longer be made of plastic. The plastic polystyrene, of which yoghurt pots, for example, are made, and the oxoplasty, which cannot be recycled cleanly, are subject to the bans.
The directive aims to prevent 22 billion euros of environmental damage by 2030. Countries such as Kenya, China, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Macedonia and the US state of California have already enforced a ban on plastic bags. It is also part of the EU agreement that by 2025 all disposable plastic bottles must be at least 90% recyclable and all PET bottles must be made of recycled plastic. Another point is that producers must contribute financially to the disposal of waste. This means that in the future, it will be the fishing companies that will bear the costs of the nets lost in the sea and not the fishermen. And the tobacco industry may have to pay for the collection of cigarette butts in the future. Europeans produce 25 million tons of plastic waste every year. In Germany alone, 6 million tons of plastic waste are thrown away every year. Together with Ireland and Estonia, Germany is thus one of the largest producers of plastic waste in the EU.
Eight million tons of plastic find their way into the oceans every year. Plastic reaches rivers and oceans via many routes. In fact, 80% of the waste is not recycled, but buried and thrown away in forests and waters. In addition, there are large amounts of plastic waste that careless people simply throw away or leave behind when they are out in nature. If this happens on the beach, the garbage is carried into the sea at the next tide. Even seemingly small amounts, such as the abrasion of car tires, which reaches the sea via the sewage system, have been accumulating for decades as dangerous microplastics in the oceans. The consequences for the sea inhabitants and the biological balance of the oceans are destructive.
Plastics emit various pollutants, especially if they are broken (and this is waste in most cases). These destroy the sensitive chemical equilibrium in the sea and thus the livelihood of the many important microorganisms in the water. Plastic not only releases harmful substances into the environment but also attracts toxins. These accumulate on the plastic, for example, the carcinogenic chlorine compounds. These toxic plastic parts are then eaten by marine animals and accumulate in their bellies until they die.
Fish and crabs can get entangled in floating plastic parts. Or these can get larger animals into body orifices such as the nose or the blowhole. Larger marine animals such as turtles, small shark species or rays get caught in plastic bags, plastic nets or a netting of plastic waste and starve to death because they cannot free themselves. Dolphins and small cetaceans suffocate in agony if they get caught in them because they can no longer get to the surface of the water to breathe. What is particularly tragic is that the playful animals first use the floating bags as toys before they become their doom.
Plastic waste never decomposes, but only dissolves into ever smaller parts, resulting in dangerous microplastics in the long term. This accumulates in all organisms and is thus always carried on. Plankton or small crustaceans and fish eat microplastics, are in turn eaten by larger fish and so microplastics also end up on people's plates via the fish. The health consequences of the absorption of microplastics on organic living beings have not yet been conclusively researched.
Especially divers experience again and again the extent of the garbage when they suddenly find themselves in huge, area-wide "swarms" of plastic particles. Scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic waste than fish in the oceans.
Anyone who starts to find out about the effects of our plastic waste will soon feel the need to stop contributing to it. However, it is not so easy to renounce all plastic, because it is a large part of our society. Plastic-free shopping in supermarkets, for example, presents consumers with a real challenge. But small steps in the right direction are also a contribution to a future with less plastic waste. The following ideas are a contribution that every individual can easily make in everyday life:
Participate in clean-up campaigns
Whether you live directly on relevant waterways, on-road sections or in woods, collecting garbage is always good for the environment. In municipalities or towns, large clean-up campaigns are held regularly, where every helping hand is welcome. Those who help there for a few hours to collect the plastic garbage lying around prevent this garbage from decomposing into microplastics in the soil and ending up in the groundwater. Wind and rain can also wash plastic lying around into water, and sooner or later it ends up back in the oceans.
If your community does not organize such actions, you can turn to the local environmental protection associations and encourage them, or take part in the organization of a clean-up campaign.
Avoid unnecessary small plastic items
Every day we acquire or receive dozens of little things that are not really important for our lives. But since these things seem practical for the moment or we get them for free (like promotional gifts), we still take them with us, even if we don't need them. These are things that are unnecessarily packed in plastic bags (magazines, flowers, etc.) or small items such as hair clips, surprise eggs, pens, etc. These little things give us a moment of joy, but after a very short time, they break down and have to be replaced. And they all have one thing in common: You could either do without them completely or buy them in a high-quality and durable version.
Fabric bags instead of plastic bags
Many supermarkets have already banned the plastic carrier bag and now only offer reusable bags made of fabric or paper bags for sale at the checkout. In the department for vegetables and fruit, however, there are still thin plastic bags. These can also be avoided relatively easily by buying a few smaller fabric bags once. These are available on the Internet or in unpackaged shops. You can then put the loose fruit and vegetables into such bags in plastic bags and weigh them at the checkout. Alternatively, the bags can also be made of mesh fabric. If you buy the same thing regularly, you can also label your bags with the varieties and always use the same bag for the same product. The bags can be washed and used indefinitely.
Do not buy "to go" products
If you get hungry on the way, you can choose from a wide range of products, from salads and soups for the microwave to pasta dishes in plastic cups.
Alternative straws are also suitable for taking away. This means there is no need for additional plastic straws for to-go drinks.
Not only the traditional coffee "to go" causes large amounts of plastic waste, due to its coated cups and plastic lids. Also, the packaging and the plastic cutlery of all meals on the way represent a problem. Those who want to eat something quickly on the way should fall back on snacks from the bakery or take the time to eat in a snack of real crockery. Another alternative would be to always have your own container and cutlery with you so that you can have the food-filled for take-away at snack bars and then enjoy it at the desired place. The returnable cup for coffee is also a good alternative.
Separate garbage properly
Unfortunately, many packages are now combined in such a way that the individual components can only be separated with difficulty. Waste separation can therefore be carried out with considerably more time. This time should be taken, however, and combined packaging should not be thrown into the residual waste for the sake of simplicity. If the waste consists of coherent plastic and paper, it can only be incinerated and not recycled. However, given the high plastic consumption, it is important that it is at least recycled and reused! So always separate the individual components as precisely as possible and recycle them accordingly. Thus, plastic waste has at least a longer useful life.
Avoid microplastics in cosmetics
Dangerous microplastics are not only caused by the slow dissolution of plastic waste. It is also intentionally produced by companies to be used for their own purposes. Especially in the cosmetics industry, plastic components are still used in very small formats. They can be found, for example, as small particles in peelings or as abrasives in toothpaste. Silicones, which can be found in creams or shampoos, are just as questionable. These are washed off the skin sooner or later and thus get into the groundwater. Anyone who wants to avoid plastic in cosmetics, in general, should buy an app (e.g. from CodeCheck) to check the ingredients of the products.
Weekly market and zero waste shops
Unfortunately, purchasing food without plastic packaging is still associated with many restrictions. Most products in the supermarket are packed in plastic. What can't be bought loose in the supermarket might also be available at the weekly market. There you can have the products (fruit, vegetables, cheese, eggs, sausages...) packed in your own bags and containers. A bonus: The products are usually fresher and local farmers are supported. Another alternative is unpackaged shops. They can now be found in every major city and offer their goods for self-bottling. Dry products such as beans, lentils, noodles, and rice can also be bottled in jars or cans. Even detergents and cosmetics are available in large containers for filling.
Avoid bioplastics as well
Anyone who thinks they are doing the environment a favor by using bioplastics unfortunately falls for a clever marketing concept. Most so-called bioplastics are (at least for the most part) made of plastics that can theoretically rot. However, this is usually only possible in special bio-plants, which do not exist in many places. To rot, these bioplastics need a certain pressure and certain temperatures, which the domestic compost never reaches. The bioplastics are then thrown back into normal waste and incinerated, which is of no benefit to the environment. If it has to be plastic, it is better to use recycled and recyclable plastic and use the product for as long as possible.
The imminent ban on plastic straws presents cocktail drinkers and the catering trade with a new task. However, it is not difficult to find a suitable alternative for disposable straws, as the possibilities are extensive. The right straws are available for all requirements and prerequisites:
Paper drinking straws
These straws are usually somewhat thicker than the usual plastic straws. This ensures that even if the paper swells up a bit, there is still enough room to pass through. They can also be used as disposable stalks, but do not harm the environment as waste, as paper can rot or be burned. There are paper blades in different colours and patterns so that they are in no way inferior to plastic blades. However, they cannot be bent. In addition, they cannot be used indefinitely, as they quickly absorb liquid and swell. The drink should, therefore, be consumed relatively quickly and the stalk disposed of before it becomes unappetizing and one drinks paper with it.
The resulting waste is unproblematic
Favorable purchase price
Large selection in colour and design
Suitable for gastronomy
Not durable for long
Softened and unappetizing
Bamboo drinking straws
The fast-growing raw material bamboo is suitable for many products, including as a substitute for plastic in tableware. It is very light and robust. If it needs to be disposed of, it can be burned without leaving any residue, just like any other wood. Bamboo drinking straws are relatively unbreakable and reusable. However, they are quite one-sided and simple, so that they do not fit colorful child birthdays for instance. In addition, they cannot be washed in the dishwasher. Since they are not transparent, you cannot be sure that they have been completely cleaned inside. A subtle wooden aftertaste must also be accepted.
Relatively cheap to buy
Completely environmentally friendly in the disposal
Break-resistant and relatively stable
Not usable for an unlimited period of time
Do not become 100% hygienically clean
Not usable for gastronomy
Silicone or hard plastic drinking straws
As a more durable alternative to disposable straws, plastic straws are now also available for multiple uses. These straws are made of hard plastic or soft silicone. These variants can also be cleaned in the dishwasher, but are mostly opaque, so that it is not completely clear whether they have been cleaned inside. In addition, plastic is never really hygienic when used as crockery or cutlery, as tiny scratches are always produced, in which remains are trapped. In addition, plastics can always emit harmful substances such as BPA. Although the straws can be used longer, they are just as harmful to the environment as disposable plastic straws when disposed of.
More durable than disposable stalks
Available in many colours and designs
Light and unbreakable
Silicone straws can be folded small
Do not become 100% hygienically clean
Not suitable for gastronomy
Harmful to the environment during disposal
Release possibly harmful substances
Stainless steel drinking straws
These polished stainless steel straws are as hygienic as surgical cutlery, suitable for gastronomy and can also be cleaned in the dishwasher. They are as good as tasteless, if you are very sensitive, but can have a slight metallic taste. Again, it is not possible to determine whether the stalks have been absolutely cleaned from the inside. Also, the design is very simple and neutral. The straws are available straight or curved, depending on your preference. Together with the stalks you often get a thin brush with which you can clean them from the inside. They are absolutely robust and unbreakable, virtually indestructible. If you want to dispose of them, this is no problem, because stainless steel is completely recycled.
Durable and robust
Suitable for gastronomy
Recyclable for disposal
Available in different versions
Higher purchase price
Light metallic taste
Glass drinking straws
The best alternative to disposable straws is glass straws. They score on all fronts because they are completely tasteless, easy to clean in the dishwasher and suitable for gastronomy. Because they are transparent, you can tell if they are really clean inside. Although they are simple and neutral, they can be bought in all kinds of colours. Glass straws are also available straight or curved. They are not completely unbreakable, but very stable since they consist of specially hardened, unbreakable glass. They are therefore no more dangerous to handle than water glasses. And should they break, they can be disposed of as recyclable material and recycled just like any other glass.
Environmentally friendly in production and recycling
Neutral or coloured available
Suitable for gastronomy
Not completely unbreakable
Higher purchase price
To facilitate cleaning, you should not let liquids dry.
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