WHY I USE A GLASS STRAW

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - How Your World Works -

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.

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