By now, we are well aware of the problems that single-use plastics are causing to our planet, but even still, Canadians are using close to 57 million disposable plastic straws every day (Oceana, 2019). We use plastic straws from anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes before getting rid of them, yet they stay around for approximately 600 years. And that’s not even considering their deterioration into microplastics!
While it may sound shocking, in theory, plastic straws can technically be recycled.
The problem is, unlike a lot of hard heavier plastic that we can put into our bins at home, most single-use plastic straws are too lightweight to be recognized by the mechanical recycling sorter. This rings true not only for straws but for many flimsy items, such as plastic utensils, which are smaller than five centimeters (two inches). Because of the small lightweight nature of these plastic products, they end up falling through the cracks of recycling plant machinery and end up being disposed of in the garbage, from which a large portion will end up in the ocean. At the rate that we are using straws and other plastics alike, it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 (Washington Post, 2016).
As the world moves away from disposable options, companies are coming up with fun new ways to encourage people into making sustainably savvy decisions when it comes to everyday household products. Reusable drinking straws are becoming a growing fad and great alternative to single-use straws, but finding and easy to clean, use and carry reusable straw that doesn’t have any strange aftertastes during and post-use can be tough.
Here is a small outlook on the different types of reusable straws made from metal, silicon, glass and bamboo.
Stainless Steel: A firm metal straw that doesn’t lose its shape after use. Some types have a metal aftertaste especially when drinking water.
Silicon: Silicon is a bendy material that is flexible and can be easily compressed for carrying. Placing the silicon straws into cups and narrow bottles can be difficult.
Glass: Glass straws are a reusable straw that is easy to keep clean due to its transparent nature. The downside with these straws is that they are more delicate than straws made from the other material.
Bamboo: This plant-based straw is a very eco-friendly alternative to steel, silicon, glass and hard plastic, however, bamboo straws tend to deteriorate more quickly than other materials.
Being a person who rarely uses straws in their beverage, I never knew I could fall in love with a straw, but GlassSipper’s high-quality glass straws are something special.
Based on Canada’s west coast, GlassSipper is a company created by lifelong recycler and craftsperson Aimee Promislow. Now, Aimee and her husband Fred are committed to ridding the world of plastic straws replacing them instead with their fun, reusable glass ones.
Joey and I love to make smoothies for breakfast every morning, and as environmentally conscious scuba divers, we now get to sip our smoothies in style.
For More Information on how to be an Eco-Friendly Scuba Diver:
It’s not easy being green in a day and age where everything is plastic and waste. Let sustainability lead the way as you scuba diver and explore the underwater world.
Arguably the most important factor of a straw is the feel, taste and durability otherwise, why would we even use one in the first place. We assessed our GlassSipper’s for length, smoothness, size, taste and portability and here are our results.
For some, glass straws can feel strange in the mouth as they are thicker than your average straw and clink against your teeth, so it is important to realize that using this straw takes one or two drinks of practice – especially for younger sippers. But in spite of the tiny learning curve, we loved how smooth and sturdy the straws were and that they didn’t add any funny tastes to our beverages. So far we have used the straws for morning smoothies, mealtime drinks and even in a few adult beverages.
One of the main advantages of having a glass straw is their cleanliness. We are big fans of the clean and hygienic feel of our straws as it is easy to see when they are dirty inside. Like most glass straws, care needs to be taken when cleaning your GlassSipper – especially where the beautiful design is attached.
We found using warm soapy water works well right after use and have not had to use a brush inside the straws. The ease in cleaning is not only handy but what we believe to be a testament to the great quality of the glass. A convenient GlassSipper cleaning bonus, that few straws of similar build offer, is their dishwasher compatibility. GlassSippers can be placed in the cutlery rack of a dishwasher and washed under full cycle.
Portability was the last factor we assessed in our GlassSippers and although strong, these straws are first and foremost glass so need to be treated carefully. Not every straw is perfect, and even though glass straws are the more fragile of the eco-friendly straws, GlassSipper offers a lifetime warranty against accidental breakage. That’s right, you heard me correctly LIFETIME WARRANTY on a glass straw. They even have a how-to video breaking down the straw replacement process. If that doesn’t speak to the company’s integrity and dedication to the environment I don’t know what does.
Overall Joey and I were more than impressed with our GlassSippers. We loved how easy-to-use, easy-to-clean these glass straws were.
As a pair of divers always trying to cut out single-use plastics, these glass straws are a wonderful alternative. Not only that but, the ingenuity and detail placed into each artistic creation at the tip, truly makes the sipper feel as if each straw was personally crafted for them!
Writers Note: This scuba diving post was sponsored by Glass Sipper as a part of our Dive Buddies 4 Life Reciprocal & Partner Program. Want to discover more unique scuba diving products? Browse through our shop to find more photography, gear and fun ocean products.
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