Simply Straws

In recent months it seems like more and more places are starting to ban plastic straws or at least consider some kind of reduction law. I first started hearing about this plastic straw issue from a Buzzfeed video where Auri Jackson tries to get 100 people to #StopSucking for one week. Not only is Auri one of my favorite Buzzfeed producers, the video was incredibly eye opening. As someone who already tries to minimize the waste they produce, this video gave me the extra to push to try harder.

In this video she partners with Simply Straws, a brand “with a passion to educate the public on the effects of plastic pollution, and a commitment to work with organizations minimizing plastics”. Simply Straws sells reusable glass straws in a variety of sizes, in addition to jars and utensil kits that can all be personalized. I liked what the brand stood for and how it presented itself, and it’s now recognized as a B Corporation and Best For The World 2018 – Environment.

While there is a lot of controversy in banning plastic straws completely, and I believe that beyond just straws we should focus on our use of single-use plastic in general, I can appreciate what Simply Straws aims to do and what this new movement brings attention to. I started supporting Simply Straws by registering UCF for their 2018 Campus Challenge and trying to follow in Auri’s footsteps by asking people to #PledgeAgainstPlasticStraws. Everyone who pledged received a coupon for a free reusable straw. By being the campus challenge representative I learned even more about how much plastic is in our oceans and how many straws are disposed of daily in the U.S. alone.

Although I wish I had done a better job of getting my campus to pledge, I’m still proud of those who did and who now avoid them when they go out. UCF didn’t win the overall challenge but we did get the most amount of pledges on the very first day of the challenge, which I’m also proud of.

I’ve carried my straws with me practically everywhere since they arrived in the mail, including to school every day, on road trips, and out to restaurants. Not only are they beautiful and feel comfortable to drink out of, I feel better when I’m going about my day knowing that if I find myself at dinner with a friend, I can reduce the amount of waste I produce. If done right, each straw I refuse (along with all the straws my friends refuse) will slowly drive down the demand restaurants have and drive them to purchase less.

The ones I received came in three sizes: skinny, classic, and wide. The package also included straw cleaners that fit each of the straws and make them easy to wash even while on-the-go. Simply Straws is a great brand and I’ll likely end up ordering a thing or two more in the future. My only hesitation lies in the fact that these straws are glass and are more likely to break than metal or bamboo. Actually, in the amount of time it took me to write this (which, granted, took much longer than it should have) one of my skinny straws broke when I dropped my purse, so I’m currently in the process of figuring out how to make myself a more protective case to travel with because I’d prefer to use the fabric I already have instead of buying a pre-made one.

If you’re considering making the switch from single-use plastic to a less wasteful option like Simply Straws, these are the reasons why I started refusing them and always keep my glass one with me.

– The average person uses 1.5 straws per day, or 30,000 in their lifetime. It may not seem like a lot daily, but it adds up.
– During one experimental day while on vacation, I accepted every straw I was automatically given. At the end of the day I had a total of 8 unnecessary plastic straws. Sometimes I was given two at a time.
– Plastic takes hundreds to thousands of years to decompose. It breaks down into smaller plastic pieces in the ocean and, according to Simply Straws, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2030.
– Limit the glasses I have to put my mouth on at restaurants.
– To avoid staining my teeth when drinking coffee.
– To help educate others about the harm of single-use plastic
– I just realized it was something I could do without and I feel better knowing I’m taking small steps to avoid creating waste.