Beverages are all more refreshing with a straw! Straws can protect your teeth from stains and cavities from sugary drinks and are important for those with physical disabilities. But it's hard to enjoy your drink when you feel guilty about plastic straws adding to our environmental problems. Even if plastic can be recycled in your area, straws usually can't. Metal straws, a popular alternative, aren't flexible and could chip your teeth.
Fortunately, there's a solution! Biodegradable straws allow you to sip conveniently, comfortably, and guilt-free. Paper, bamboo, wheat, and plant-based plastics are all great eco-friendly materials. Our top pick, Plant-Based Compostable Straws from Plasticless, made the cut for its sturdiness and flexibleness. Keep reading for the rest of our top 10 recommendations and a helpful buying guide.
Here's a list of the top 10 best biodegradable straws based on important factors such as material, size, and reviewer satisfaction. Hopefully, you'll find the perfect straw to sip on here!
|Material||Plant-based biodegradable material|
|Number of straws||100|
|Highlights||BPA-free, food-safe ink|
|Number of straws||200|
|Highlights||BPA-free paper, food-safe ink|
|Number of straws||300|
|Material||Kraft brown paper|
|Highlights||FSC-certified, dye- and chlorine-free|
|Number of straws||100|
|Material||Sugarcane and plant-based PLA|
|Highlights||Petrochemical-free, zero-waste packaging|
|Number of straws||10|
|Highlights||Ink-, dye-, and bleach-free|
|Number of straws||250|
|Highlights||FSC-certified materials, BPA-free, dye-free, toxin-free, and odor-free|
|Number of straws||12|
|Length||5.5 in., 8.7 in.|
|Diameter||0.2 in., 0.4 in.|
|Number of straws||100|
|Highlights||Gluten-free, no GMO ingredients|
100% Plant-Based Compostable Straws
Biodegradable Paper Straws
Paper Drinking Straws
Biodegradable Paper Straws
Biodegradable Drinking Straws
Clear Drinking Straws
Organic Bamboo Straws
Kraft Paper Straws
Natural Bamboo Straws
Natural Drinking Straws
A Perfect Plant-Based Substitute for Plastic
Get Festive With Different Colored and Patterned Paper Straws
BPA-Free Paper With Bleed-Free, Food-Safe Ink
Sip on Durable FSC-Certified Straws
Individually-Wrapped Sugarcane Straws
Clear Straws Made from Vegetable-Based Plastic
Reusable and Easy-to-Clean Organic Bamboo Straws
Thick and Sturdy Paper-Based Eco-Friendly Straws
Reuse These Different Sized Straws
Try Straws Made from Wheat Stems
|Material||Plant-based biodegradable material||Paper||Paper||Kraft brown paper||Sugarcane and plant-based PLA||Plant-based PLA||Bamboo||Paper||Bamboo||Wheat stems|
|Length||8.25 in.||7.75 in.||7.7 in.||7.7 in.||7.76 in.||7.75 in.||8 in.||7.75 in.||5.5 in., 8.7 in.||7.75 in.|
|Diameter||0.26 in.||0.25 in.||0.25 in.||0.25 in.||0.24 in.||0.27 in.||0.2-0.4 in.||0.25 in.||0.2 in., 0.4 in.||0.14-0.17 in.|
|Highlights||Petrochemical-free||BPA-free, food-safe ink||BPA-free paper, food-safe ink||FSC-certified, dye- and chlorine-free||Zero plastics||Petrochemical-free, zero-waste packaging||Ink-, dye-, and bleach-free||FSC-certified materials, BPA-free, dye-free, toxin-free, and odor-free||BPA-free||Gluten-free, no GMO ingredients|
When choosing a biodegradable straw, make sure to consider factors such as the material of the product! This buying guide will give you some tips for choosing a straw that works wonderfully for you and doesn't harm the planet.
There are quite a few eco-friendly alternatives to regular plastic straws that you can choose from. To find out which one is the best for you, consider the pros and cons of each material!
Bamboo is a highly sustainable material since it can grow up to a meter just within a day and doesn't need any fertilizers or pesticides. Also, actually has a greater tensile strength than steel and can withstand high levels of heat without bending or melting, so you can use bamboo straws for hot drinks as well!
Besides being 100 percent biodegradable, bamboo straws are reusable and have strong antibacterial properties. But be careful not to store bamboo straws in a humid place as they can get easily get moldy. If you reuse them, dry them thoroughly after washing. And don't leave them in the sink! Bamboo is very absorbent and can sop up soapy or contaminated water.
Paper straws are a popular alternative to plastic ones. They are 100 percent biodegradable, take a short time to decompose, and are safer for the ecosystem as well. However, paper straws can get mushy quickly, so do factor in the number of straws you'd use if you're going to have multiple drinks.
The manufacturing process of paper straws is also quite intensive and requires a lot of resources and energy. Still, many people love paper straws since they tend to have colorful designs. Just make sure to get a product with food-safe ink to avoid putting harmful chemicals into your drinks!
Wheat or hay straws are crafted from wheat stems, which are an agricultural by-product. By using this type of straw, you're saving a lot of natural resources! Also, compared to paper straws, they are stronger and don't get soggy easily. But keep in mind that they are single-use only.
Made from straw leftovers and not the grains themselves, wheat straws are likely to be gluten-free. But due to cross-contamination like residue on equipment or surfaces, they might end up containing gluten. So if you need to avoid gluten, check and see if the product is certified gluten-free.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a plant-based plastic derived from materials like corn starch or sugarcane. This biodegradable bioplastic is cost-efficient because it can be made using existing equipment.
It's the most similar material to regular plastic. If you use a PLA straw, you might never know the difference, except that PLA melts more easily and thus isn't a good choice for hot liquids. Also be sure to store your PLA straws in a cool environment so they do not melt.
However, PLA is not a perfect solution to using plastic. Although it doesn't come from petroleum, it does come from potential food crops. There is also controversy about how biodegradable it is.
In the ocean, regular plastic can take from hundreds of years to thousands of years to degrade. But PLA will degrade in six to 24 months! So that seems great, right?
Unfortunately, the conditions needed to degrade PLA are not present in natural environments. PLA need to be composted in industrial facilities at the right temperature, so you have to ensure your PLA straws reach a recycling facility that will process PLA products.
Your straws might be biodegradable and environmentally-friendly, but they are not necessarily safe for your health. To save cost, some manufacturers might add chemical dyes to make low-quality straws more aesthetically appealing, so be sure to choose a dye-free product!
You need to be extra careful with paper straws since they are often decorated with colorful patterns. Look for paper straws that are made with food-safe inks or are ink-free.
Products might claim to be 100 percent safe, biodegradable, and environmentally-friendly to appeal to eco-conscious consumers. But that might just be a marketing strategy. You want to make sure these claims are backed up.
To give yourself peace of mind, look for products regulated by reputable certification bodies. If you're concerned about the health and safety of your product, choose a product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And to see if your product is actually eco-friendly, look for trustworthy stamps such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, or Forest Stewardship Council logo.
Products can only bear those stamps if they meet all the rigorous standards set out by experts! So their logos are the best indication that your product is hygienic and safe for both you and the environment.
The length and diameter of the straw you use might not seem important, but they actually matter a lot! Not all drinks are of the same consistency, and you probably don't want to get a thin straw and then figure out that it doesn't work with your smoothies, right?
Usually, for thin liquids like coffee, tea, or cocktails, you can opt for straws with a diameter ranging from 0.12 to 0.2 inches. For thin to medium consistency like smoothies, a diameter from 0.2 to 0.28 inches would do.
Thicker drinks like milkshakes might need a diameter from 0.28 to 0.39 inches. And if you like to put some tapioca jellies or diced fruit in your drinks, pick a straw with a diameter of over 0.39 inches.
Get a straw with the right length for your cups as well! For tall cups, pick a straw seven to eight inches long. For short cups, a five-inch straw will work.
If you choose a biodegradable straw that's reusable, you'll want to make sure you keep it super clean for sanitary reasons. You don't want food or mold or bacteria building up in your straw! You also don't want the straw to absorb any flavors. It's ideal to clean it immediately after use, or at least give it a rinse before cleaning it later.
Start by rinsing your straw. Then put dish soap on a cleaning brush and slide it in and out of the straw. Baking soda is also useful for removing any lingering food matter. Rinse thoroughly to remove the soap. You don't want any moisture left in your straw, so leave it standing upright to dry. Take a look at the video below for more information.
If you don't have a cleaning brush, a pipe cleaner is a great alternative cleaning tool. Check out this video from BetterBalancedBliss to see how easy it is to clean your straw.
It's important that your brush or pipe cleaner is thick enough, so if a single pipe cleaner doesn't fill the circumference of your straw, try twisting multiple pipe cleaners together.
Want to switch over to more sustainable, eco-friendly options? Our suggestions might help you to do so!
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