Single-use plastic products may no longer be sold in the EU from 2021. For this reason, the consumer portal askgeorge.com has tested eight alternative straws made of stainless steel, glass and plastic.
Did you know that 40 billion plastic straws are used annually in Germany alone ? The worst part is that most of them cannot be recycled because they are not properly recorded by the recovery facilities and thus end up in the garbage dump and in waste incineration plants. When they are stored in the open air, the light stalks are then often blown away by the wind.
So it’s hardly surprising that every seventh piece of garbage picked up on a beach or river is a plastic drinking straw. What is worse, however, is that it takes up to 500 years for the drinking straw to completely break down. And until then, its microscopic plastic particles will pollute our seas. So it is high time for straws made from reusable materials . The consumer portal askgeorge.com made the self-experiment and tested eight different alternatives. All reusable straws have been designed in terms of taste, drinking experience, cleaning and rated sustainability. The results of the self-experiment were made exclusively available to the star.
These are the two test winners
1. PURITY straws made of stainless steel (grade: 1.5)
The winner was the PURITY stainless steel straws: You could convince the product tester the most. The scope of delivery included eight straws, each 21.5 centimeters long and five millimeters in diameter, as well as a cleaning brush – in a closable cloth bag. The material of the drinking straws is particularly robust and dishwasher-safe , so that you can easily enjoy hot or cold, thick or thin drinks with them. The only downer: drinks without taste, such as water, are not so suitable for the stainless steel variant, as you can perceive the metallic taste of the material more clearly. But these stalks last for eternity and are therefore ecologically valuable .
2. HALM straws made of glass (grade: 1.5)
The HALM glass straws came in second. The scope of delivery includes a cleaning brush and four straws, each with a length of 20 centimeters, but the diameter is also seven millimeters – i.e. you can drink more liquid at once. Just like the stainless steel drinking straws, those made of glass are reusable and dishwasher-safe. In contrast to the test winner, however, they have the advantage that they are completely tasteless , no matter which drink you choose. On top of that, the glass drinking straws are visually very appealing. However, it should be emphasized negatively that the glass version is not break-proof . Even if you have to use a lot of force to destroy a stalk, the danger is permanent.
This is the price-performance winner
3. ounona plastic straws (grade: 1.9)
Here you get 25 straws in different colors with a length of 22.2 centimeters and a diameter of six millimeters all at once, without having to dig deep into your pocket. For this reason the ounona drinking straws were made of plastic Voted the price-performance winner. The scope of delivery also includes a cleaning brush – and plastic packaging , which unfortunately completely misses the basic idea of a plastic-free variant and is therefore rated negatively. On the other hand, it should be positively emphasized that the straws are also completely tasteless, reusable and dishwasher-safe. In addition, a practical ring was attached to the plastic versions , which ensures that the flexible straws cannot slip into a bottle or be pulled out.
This is how the other straws cut off
4. HOOMEE straws made of stainless steel (grade 1.8)
This variant was also tested and found to be good. The positive properties of HOOMEE straws made of stainless steelare about the same as the test winner – this also applies to the negative, metallic taste . The scope of delivery includes eight straws with different lengths (between 25.5 and 26.5 centimeters) and diameters (between five and seven millimeters), a sealable bag and two cleaning brushes.
5. Bambaw straws made of bamboo (grade: 2.1)
These straws are a real eye-catcher , but they also have some negative properties such as the rough surface or the fact that they are not completely tasteless. Supplied with the bamboo straws it contains twelve straws with a length of 22 centimeters and a diameter between five and ten millimeters, a cleaning brush and a sealable bag. The straws are reusable, can be washed several times and biodegraded.
6. Stroodles pasta straws (grade: 3.0)
Unsurprisingly in this self- experiment is that the Stroodles pasta straws are not reusable – as it is commercially available noodles. As a result, the typical pasta taste clearly stands out in tasteless drinks , and the straws stick to the lips. It was positive that the 25 straws of different lengths (between 22.5 and 25 centimeters) and six millimeters thick were delivered in recycled paper, and the pasta is also biodegradable . The result was therefore only satisfactory.
7.Uarter straws made of silicone (grade: 3.1)
The Uarter silicone straws performed even worse than their predecessors. This is due to their intense taste , which can hardly be covered with a drink. The scope of delivery includes six colorful straws with a length of 24.7 centimeters and a diameter of a generous two centimeters. The silicone drinking straws are also reusable and dishwasher safe, but it was only enough for a “satisfactory”.
8. eBoot straws made of paper (grade: 3.4)
The eBoot straws made of paper were rated worst in the test: Although they look very nice and are also biodegradable, they can only be used once – and on top of that they are not tasteless. That being said, the plastic-free alternative is paradoxically delivered in plastic packaging. A total of 100 pieces are included in the scope of delivery, the length is 19.6 centimeters and the diameter is six millimeters. Another negative aspect was that the paper straws stick to the lip and thick drinks can only be drunk with difficulty.
There are a number of sensible alternatives to standard plastic straws. The stainless steel and glass versions performed best – but the other drinking straws also have their advantages. Which model you choose at the end of the day is of course up to you. The main thing is that you don’t use plastic products – for the sake of our environment and your health.
Who actually invented the straw?
As the name suggests, the first known drinking straws were made of straw. The idea that you can absorb liquids with the help of straws arose in southern Mesopotamia – the Sumerians who live there use them to drink beer. It is assumed here that the uptake of constituents that arise during fermentation and sink to the bottom could be avoided by the stalks. What is particularly fascinating, however, is that as early as 3000 BC Chr. Straws from different materials (including gold) were made. By the 19th century at the latest there were also straws made of ryegrass and finally in 1888 the first drinking straw made of paper, invented by Marvin C. Stein. Who would have thought, that these reusable straws would be fashionable again these days? Even if this variant performed significantly worse in the test than the other materials, such as glass and stainless steel, it is still better than plastic.
Disposable plastic ban from 2021
Due to the increasing pollution of our seas, certain plastic products are to be banned in all EU member states from 2021 – so the European Parliament has decided. This primarily affects disposable items such as straws and cotton swabs, plastic dishes or even food packaging made of Styrofoam. All of them are increasingly being washed up on beaches and are helping to destroy the environment. In addition to the one-way plastic ban, it was also decided that from 2030 all plastic bottles should be made from at least 30 percent recycled materials. Because even if products made of plastic are not classified as “dangerous goods”, their use makes a massive contribution to turning our world into a gigantic rubbish bin.