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A comparison of sustainable variants of the drinking straw

What alternatives to plastic straws are there?

From June 21, 2021, a new EU regulation will ban single-use plastic crockery and drinking straws. This new regulation is intended to counteract the increasing environmental pollution . The background to the ban is the large amount of microplastics made from solid and insoluble synthetic polymers. They are created by the decomposition of the so-called oxo-degradable plastic. This plastic decomposes slowly but never fully degrades, leaving tiny microparticles behind. The length of time it takes for the plastic to break down into tiny parts is also significant - a plastic straw takes a full 200 years to do this. Microplastics pose significant damage to the oceans, wildlife and even our health .
As a result, the catering industry in particular must reorient itself and find alternative solutions in order to serve their guests drinks with a straw as usual. There is already a range of imaginative options on the market.
A first option is the flexible silicone drinking straw, which is often found in reusable to-go cups. A counterpart made of bio-plastic was also developed for straws made of plastic, which consists of renewable starch fibres. A classic option is known to be models made of glass, which are practical and reusable. Robust camping crockery is often made of metal/stainless steel - hard-wearing drinking straws were designed in the same style. Last but not least, edible drinking straws made from raw plant fibers are trendy, which represent an environmentally conscious flagship product with their style and functionality.

Advantages and disadvantages of the different variants


Alternative silicone products are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns and are shatterproof . Their soft structure makes them functional and suitable for travel. They can easily be stowed away in luggage. Nevertheless, this variant also has negative sides. The malleable material is not entirely tasteless and due to its flexibility has a consistency that takes some getting used to . The silicone straws are difficult to clean after use and quickly attract dust particles that visibly settle on the surface. As a result, the stalks can quickly look dirty. Finally, it should be mentioned that this product is not biodegradable and is practically not recycled.


At first glance, drinking straws made of bio-plastic appear to be very environmentally friendly. The production using a renewable raw material and full compostability are clear advantages over conventional plastic/plastic. But even if the mouthfeel is in no way inferior to the original plastic straw, one important point should be considered. The organic drinking straws are theoretically completely degradable, but after use they still end up in the residual waste and thus in the waste incineration plant. The composting time of the stalks is also well over the prescribed eight weeks in the industrial composting plant. As a result, it is ultimately not possible to let them completely disintegrate there. Last but not least, the straws are delivered in plastic packaging, which fundamentally contradicts the sustainable vision of a drinking straw.

metal or stainless steel

Anyone who chooses straws made of metal/stainless steel can usually rely on the high-quality and durable nature of the material for a lifetime. After use, the straws can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher and are absolutely break-proof. These straws can therefore easily be taken on excursions and trips. However, what turns out to be a disturbing factor is the quiet noise in the glass and on the teeth when using the straw. Not everyone is comfortable with metallic noises . Also worth mentioning is the distinct taste of the drinking straw. The taste of beverages can be changed as a result. In addition, the quite robust style of the product should be mentioned. Anyone who wants to serve drinks in delicate glasses or cozy cocoa cups has not necessarily found the right option with this drinking straw.


Bamboo grows back quickly, is completely compostable and only needs minor processing due to its optimal fiber structure . Bamboo drinking straws characterize an unbreakable variant and should still be evaluated critically. The sustainability aspect of the product is reduced by the necessary import from Indonesia - long transport routes and poor working conditions do not contribute to the environmentally conscious and fair image of the product. The decisive factor in the criticism is the slightly woody-rough mouthfeel with its own taste and the short useful life of the straw. Due to the time-consuming cleaning and rapid discoloration from drinks, the straws are difficult to reuse.


Glass drinking straws have a timeless and attractive design. Therefore, they are suitable for many occasions. The reusable version is dishwasher safe, tasteless and hygienic. However, despite the positive aspects of this product, there are also disadvantages that should be considered. Like stainless steel, the hard surface creates a slight clinking sound on dishes and teeth. Despite the good quality, the drinking straws are the most likely of all variants to break. As a result, special care is required during cleaning and use.

Edible fruit fibers

A particular option to improve sustainability is the edible straw, which is a big hit with the environment in mind. It can be eaten after drinking the drink and has a delicious taste. Made from renewable fruit fibers, it scores with stability and neutral taste while the drink is being enjoyed. Existing resources are used efficiently and unnecessary delivery routes are avoided. It is worth highlighting the merits of this option in more detail below.
  • 🧃 Sustainable edible straws
    🥇 Made in Germany
    🌳 Renewable raw materials
    🕑 Stable for about 45 minutes at room temperature
    🚫 Plastic-free drinking straws
    Original price
    Original price
    Current price

  • The edible drinking straw from Wisefood - developed with the environment in mind

    The idea of ​​the edible straw is a remarkable innovation that emerged in 2017 from the basic idea of ​​reusing apple pomace. The world's first ready-to-eat drinking straw was developed with the aim of reducing plastic pollution without sacrificing the enjoyment experience. The straw is made from sustainable raw materials . These include, for example, wheat or fruit fibers. By using regional goods, long and environmentally harmful transport routes are avoided. The drinking straw is manufactured exclusively in Europe. With its high-quality design , it can be used in a variety of ways and on every occasion. The drinking straw is available in different sizes and diameters. Thus, the optimal size can be selected for each drink, such as a cocktail or a milkshake. Enjoyment is guaranteed, because the straw does not give off any taste at first and has a stable structure. After about 20 minutes, the material slowly softens and can thus be consumed, with the taste characterized by a delicious, fruity-sour note. The drinking straws can be selected in different flavors. The edible straw does not produce any waste and does not have to be laboriously cleaned. This saves time and resources and the environment is sustainably relieved. The drinking straw from Wisefood is therefore an ideal way to impress guests with style and eco-friendly creativity.

    Sources (07.02.2021)ück/trinken/reusable-strawhalme--8-alternatives-8815308.html (07.02.2021)ß/alternativ-plastic-strohhalm-vergleich-nachhaltigkeit (07.02.2021)
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