As we all know, for today’s bar industry, it is more and more urgent to find new products to reduce the adverse impact on the natural environment, as small as plastic straws. No exception. Nowadays, if you want to replace the disposable plastic straws in cocktails, there are so many choices on the market. Here we have listed 9 alternatives to plastic straws and help you analyze the advantages and disadvantages as alternatives.
1. Paper straws（disposable）
This is perhaps the most popular alternative to plastic straws, and the best choice for many giants in the beverage industry. For example, Starbucks has replaced plastic straws with 100% recyclable paper straws in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and hopes to make it the standard choice for all Starbucks stores across China by the end of 2019.
1.Convenience-this is the main reason why we rely so much on disposable plastic products.
3.If you really need to use disposable products, this is the most environmentally friendly option. Most paper straws are biodegradable, and some can be composted.
1.Paper straws will soon become soaked in water and become soft, which may affect the drinking experience.
2.Many types of paper straws are still treated with plastic additives or dyed with unenvironmentally friendly colorants-not all paper straws are biodegradable.
3.The production of paper straws still consumes natural resources-after all, paper comes from trees.
2. Metal straws（reusable）
It's easy to buy, it looks pretty, and it doesn't become soft or sticky-this is one of our favorite reusable straws.
1.Fashionable and elegant, charming temperament.
2.Extremely strong and durable—especially stainless steel straws
3.The price is relatively reasonable and easy to buy.
1.Not easy to clean. Metal straws can be cleaned in a dishwasher, but they are often not cleaned 2.enough, and hand washing is quite time-consuming.
3.Some low-quality metal straws may produce a metallic taste in the mouth.
3. Glass straws（reusable）
Glass straws are pretty cool—they are colorful and diverse in styles, and they are great for selling in bars for consumers to take home.
2.Because it is transparent, it is easier to clean than other reusable straws, because you can see if you have cleaned it properly.
1.The most obvious point-glass is fragile. Therefore, the glass straw is easy to break and is more difficult to store.
2.Higher prices-at least compared to other reusable straws.
A quite regional choice that can add fun to certain cocktails.
1.Theoretically, bamboo straws are the most environmentally friendly option-bamboo grows quickly, is easy to reproduce, and they can release oxygen before they grow into mature bamboo suitable for making straws.
2.100% pure and natural-only need to polish the bamboo stem.
3.Many companies offer custom designs-you can print your own logo on the straw.
4.To be honest: Compared to plastic straws, sipping cocktails with bamboo straws is so much cooler.
1.Not as durable as glass or metal straws-because bamboo will expand and contract in liquid, they will eventually crack.
2.Bamboo can only grow in certain places- Fortunately, China is a paradise for bamboo.
3.Hand washing and manual polishing are required to keep the bamboo straws clean and beautiful.
5. Silicone straws (reusable)
It has all the advantages of plastic straws, but it is not disposable.
1.Soft, easy to bend, hardly cracked.
2.Very clean and hygienic, and can be cleaned thoroughly with a dishwasher.
3.Safe and suitable for childrent
1.Silicone is still some kind of plastic.
2.It looks a little ugly.
3.The price is slightly more expensive, second only to glass straws.
4.Silicone is easy to stain after long-term use-it is best to choose a dark-colored silicone straw.
6. Wheat straws (disposable)
Do you know how the word "straw" comes from in English? That's right, it's the most primitive drinking tool for mankind, wheat straw. This kind of natural and organic alternative straws is becoming more and more popular nowadays-you can see them in E.P.I.C. and Up bars in Shanghai.
1.100% biodegradable, compostable and all natural straws
2.Although it is relatively thin, it will not soak and become soft.
3.They are by-products of wheat (we don't need to spend extra time to make straw straws), just a little processing.
4.For high-traffic bars, wheat straws provide the convenience of disposable straws, but the environmental impact is very little
5.Wheat straws are very cheap.
1.Not strong enough-you may need to use a lot of pcs
2.The wheat straw is very thin. Sometimes you may need to add two to a cocktail.
7. Bioplastic straws (disposable)
Also called "compostable" straws. There are actually many misunderstandings regarding this popular alternative to ordinary plastic straws. Indeed, they are made of plant-derived plastic PLA (polylactic acid), whose main materials are corn starch, potato starch, sugar cane, beetroot, cassava and so on. But in fact, the environmental hazards of this kind of straws may not be different from ordinary plastic straws.
1.It can be recycled or composted under the correct environmental conditions.
2.Compared with traditional plastics, less fossil fuels are consumed in the production process.
1.It does not look much different from plastic, and it is not helpful in enhancing people's awareness of sustainable environmental protection.
2.Bioplastic straws can only be decomposed under certain environmental conditions, usually with the help of industrial waste composting facilities, which are currently not available in most places.
3.If it is not properly composted, the bioplastic straws mixed in the landfill may take several years to decompose-once it enters the marine environment, the situation is even worse, because they cannot be decomposed in sea water.
4.They are harmful to wild animals-remember the turtle whose nostrils were blocked by a plastic straw?
5.In the final analysis, unless you can collect every single-use decomposable straw in the bar and send it to an industrial waste composting facility for proper disposal, they are no different from plastic straws.
8. Plant stem straws (disposable)
Creative use of plant scraps in the kitchen and surrounding shops. For example, the Native Bar in Singapore uses the originally useless lotus stem of a local flower shop as a straw.
1.The hollow stems of many foods can be used as straws.
2.You can even grow your own straws.
3.Certain plants (such as lemongrass) can add additional flavor and aroma levels to cocktails
1.Choose plant species carefully-you don't want to poison your guests with food.
2.Purchase certain plants just to throw them away? This is in contradiction with the original intention of 3.environmental protection, so the procurement source of plant straws should also be environmentally sustainable.
4.Plant straws are not the most practical option. Plants will not naturally grow into the perfect straw shape, and it may not be so easy to purchase suitable plant straws.
9. Italian macaroni straws (disposable)
Apart from pasta with bacon and egg sauce, what do you think of the idea of using a long tube of macaroni for a glass of sparkling wine?
1.Macaroni is macaroni, which is biodegradable.
2.It is not as easy to wet and soften as paper straws.
3.It can add a bit of novelty to certain cocktails.
1.There will be a taste of macaroni.
2.Food waste is still rubbish.
3.It feels a little perfunctory-not suitable for those exquisite and high-end occasions.
Tips to reduce the use of straws in daily life
Good idea from Trash Tiki: Prepare straws in the store, but only provide them when requested by customers-in most cases, straws are not necessary, you can help customers get rid of this habit.
Know the source of product procurement and pay attention to the environmental protection practices of suppliers. If the environmental hazards of the production process are comparable to the possible benefits of using new straws, it is not a good thing.
Quality first, cost second-In the long run, investing in high-quality reusable straws will benefit your bar and the entire natural environment. Remember, any disposable straw will produce garbage, no matter if it is natural or unnatural.
Pay attention to food hygiene-for reusable straws, cleaning and disinfection are the top priority. Yes, it takes a lot of time, but no one wants to enjoy their own cocktails with straws that leave traces of others.
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