Within the past year there has been an active push to remove plastic straws and other single-use plastics from our everyday lives. This is because, not surprisingly, plastic is bad for the environment. Plastic does not biodegrade, which means it can be around forever.

Where does this plastic end up? Plastic ends up in our waterways, and eventually the ocean and our own bodies. Since plastic does not biodegrade, it breaks down into smaller pieces called “micro-plastic,” which is even worse because it then goes more easily unnoticed by wildlife eating from the ocean and can sneak into our groundwater that we use for water that we drink.

Roughly 500 million plastic straws are used in America daily. Here are six alternatives to plastic straws.

1. Reusable Metal Straws

Why use a plastic straw that you are just going to throw away, when you can use a metal straw for multiple uses? This is the kind of straw that you can form a bond with.

2. Hay Straws

Ever wonder where the word for straw came from? Hay! Made from wheat production, hay straws are great substitutes to the plastic straw, because when you are done with them, they can be thrown into the compost bin and will break down naturally.

3. Paper Straws

Paper straws are not only biodegradable, but are also beneficial for restaurants or hosts that want to make their straws fun. Paper straws can come all different colors, themes, and sizes.

4. Compostable Straws

The compostable straw was a popular first substitute to the plastic straw because of its similar feel and look. While compostable straws are better for the environment because they are made from renewable material, if they are not properly disposed of they will end up in landfills or oceans where there is no oxygen or sunlight to properly decompose, thus having the same effect that plastic does. If you use these straws, don’t forget to throw them in the compost!

5. Bamboo Straws

Bamboo straws are not only biodegradable, but they can also be reused. These straws are known for their durability. Bamboo is super sturdy and will hold up when drinking any type of liquid and will come out looking fresh and clean from the dishwasher.


In June 2018 Malibu banned single use plastic. This prompted restaurants that wanted to keep straws to come up with creative ways to make a plastic-free straw. This is where we can find the creation of the the pasta straw (pastraw).