WHY I USE A GLASS STRAW
Proud soda-sipping Americans use more than 500 million plastic straws every day. They’re too light to pass through recycling sorters, resulting in 250 tons of daily trash. Too much of that ends up floating across the country’s lakes, rivers, and shores. If you haven’t seen the viral Youtube video of biologists pulling a straw out of the bleeding nose of a turtle, note that scientists have also found plastic perforating the stomachs of penguins, and estimate that more than a million birds die each year from plastic consumption. Experts estimate that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
With a handful of purely medical exceptions, straws are entirely and incontrovertibly unnecessary. And yet, I can’t live without them. When I order an iced coffee, or feel like a movie-theatre drink, I need a straw. I can’t explain why it tastes better – neither can Google. But it does.
Seeking a solution to my straw problem and ensuing straw guilt, I discovered Simply Straws. The family-owned business has made reusable glass drinking straws in Orange County, California, since 2012. The idea for the company came from Cyndi Sladics, the family matriarch, who spent 31 years as a dental hygienist and recommended straws to patients with sensitive teeth and staining worries. Her concern for the environment inspired her to come up with a reusable, Bpa-free alternative to throwaway straws.
Simply Straws has sold more than 150 000 glass straws and donates one per cent of its profits to charity. The straws come in different sizes, shapes, and colours, for about R115 each. They are surprisingly durable (with a lifetime warranty) and also dishwasher-safe. I bought three and use them daily. One stays at my office desk, one for home, and one with a case travels in my purse. My favorite is clear glass. It barely stands out plunged into a Dunkin’ Donuts cup or angled in a standard restaurant water glass. It’s a small step, but one that I feel good about every time I hear ice clinking up against the glass. It makes my drinks taste even better. – Lara Sorokanich
Simply Straws are dishwashersafe. Hot water and dish soap works, too.