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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 7th Aug 18, 3:59 PM
    • 194Posts
    • 84Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    What are the cheapest alternatives to disposable plastic straws?
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:59 PM
    What are the cheapest alternatives to disposable plastic straws? 7th Aug 18 at 3:59 PM
    Disposable plastic straws could soon be banned in England in an effort to try to cut down on the amount of plastic we throw away. Yet for all sorts of reasons, many of us like (and even need) to use some form of straw - whether due to disability or simply wanting to protect our teeth.

    Read the full blog: Plastic straws could be banned so what are the cheapest alternatives?
    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 01-07-2019 at 3:03 PM.

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Page 1
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 7th Aug 18, 4:51 PM
    • 3,795 Posts
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    Doom_and_Gloom
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 4:51 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 4:51 PM
    You can buy a set of 8, 2 small (215mm) straight, 2 large straight, 2 small bent and 2 long (265mm) bent with 2 cleaning brushes for 9.99 on Amazon (yes I know that is controversial in it's own right) but you can buy them for simular prices in other places.
    Bamboo is another option, 14 20cm straws with 2 cleaning brushes for 9.99 Amazon. Again can buy same kind of price in other places.

    I know they are plastic but for home we have cups with inbuilt straw. Saves on straws at home and as they are plastic they weigh less for me than a glass as sometimes my disability means I drop things, especially when they are heavier.
    I am a vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 7th Aug 18, 8:45 PM
    • 13,241 Posts
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    jimjames
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 8:45 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 8:45 PM
    Drinking straight from the cup is free...
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 7th Aug 18, 8:47 PM
    • 2,449 Posts
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    EricMears
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 8:47 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 8:47 PM
    Can you not still find waxed paper straws ?
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 8th Aug 18, 8:20 AM
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    EricMears
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:20 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:20 AM
    Can you not still find waxed paper straws ?
    Originally posted by EricMears
    To answer my own question, Amazon sell 150 paper straws for 2.50. Not the sort of thing I ever buy so no idea whether that's a good price.


    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Drinking-Rainbow-Everyday-Wedding-Celebration/dp/B01JS212RK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1533715997&sr=8-5&keywords=waxed+paper+straws
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 8th Aug 18, 6:16 PM
    • 3,795 Posts
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    Doom_and_Gloom
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 6:16 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 6:16 PM
    If I take the above so 4 packs is equivalent to the examples of cost for reusable I had. That gives 600 staws. Not even 2 years worth for everyday use for one person. Yet two people could easily share the reusable examples I gave; metal would have 1 of each of the straw types and a cleaning brush each, while for bamboo they would have a straw for each day each and a cleaning brush each. So in that scenario for two people it won't even be a year of straw use for one use paper.
    You will get many years out of each reusable straw. Paper staws still use resorces and from trees that take a long time to grow. Yes it's more sustainable and less damaging than plastic but one use is still bad.

    So the metal and bamboo options are better cost wise. That and they only have to be produced less and are less damaging.
    Certainly bamboo is good as it is a when they grow they aid the environment in air quality, it is rather fast growing (1-5 years depending on it's use) so more sustainable, little waste when made into things, no chemicals are needed to grow it, it protects soil etc. That and if the item breaks beyond repair it is completely biodegradable to boot.
    I am a vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 8th Aug 18, 7:27 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 1,848 Thanks
    MovingForwards
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 7:27 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 7:27 PM
    Reusable straws, even as a kid I had a plastic resuable one and I am sure my mom still has it!
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 21st Aug 18, 6:04 PM
    • 3,771 Posts
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    LadyDee
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 18, 6:04 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 18, 6:04 PM
    Silicone reusable straws. The outlay may seem expensive but they will last so long as silicone lasts - who knows, but I've used mine regularly and put them in the dishwasher to clean them. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reusable-Silicone-Straws-BPA-Free/dp/B07586KPKV/ref=sr_1_5?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1534874649&sr=1-5&keywords=reusable+silicone+straws
    • lesbro
    • By lesbro 23rd Jan 19, 7:20 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    lesbro
    • #9
    • 23rd Jan 19, 7:20 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Jan 19, 7:20 AM
    We use plastic straws as we have a large packet for the grandchildren, but we wash them and put in the re-cycling.
    • mdjuergens
    • By mdjuergens 29th May 19, 11:53 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    mdjuergens
    Do you need them?
    How often do you actually NEED a straw?
    Ever wondered why they are called "straw"?
    • Piddles
    • By Piddles 29th May 19, 12:18 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    Piddles
    Went a wedding in Italy last week and they used pasta. Worked really well. Totally neutral tasting.

    Presumably you can just rinse them and cook them for your next meal.

    So....FREE!

    Ocado do them, search for De Cecco Bucatini 500g, 3 for 3. Money saving and planet saving in one go!

    Penne for your thoughts??
    Last edited by Piddles; 29-05-2019 at 2:42 PM.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 29th May 19, 12:28 PM
    • 3,284 Posts
    • 2,592 Thanks
    GreatApe
    PLA is the most likely replacement. It biodegrades in 6-24 months in the environment but it costs some 2.5x normal plastic

    You are looking at 0.5p more per straw
    Or roughly 35p per person in additional costs per year

    However I would say for at least the fast food industry they should switch from their paper/plastic hybrid cups to cans without straws. This should also save costs in not needing soda machines in fast food outlets instead they would just need simple fridge to keep the cans in. I think this would be more efficient but it looks less premium to offer your customers cans rather than those soda machine filled paper plastic cups so would require regulations to make it happen
    • ajbell
    • By ajbell 29th May 19, 1:36 PM
    • 1,122 Posts
    • 3,464 Thanks
    ajbell
    Ivory makes good straws as does condor leg bones and rhino horn.
    The good thing about using the above is they degrade so you can just throw them in the ocean and get some more.
    4kWp, South facing, 16 x phono solar panels, Solis inverter, Lincolnshire.
    • nick4130
    • By nick4130 30th May 19, 8:53 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    nick4130
    I don't normally comment on MSE, but the email about banning straws made me cringe, roll my eyes and shudder. Nobody's perfect, but the more we know the more we can change. It's not the earth that will suffer, it's mankind.


    We use plastic straws as we have a large packet for the grandchildren, but we wash them and put in the re-cycling.
    Originally posted by lesbro
    And they still end up in landfill, the ocean, and use considerable amount of fossil fuels to manufacture, transport and maybe even get recycled if you're lucky.

    Reusable straws, even as a kid I had a plastic resuable one and I am sure my mom still has it!
    Originally posted by MovingForwards
    Isn't this funny? I bet many of us do. But yet the convenience of consumerism and today's paranoid society has somehow convinced us buying new ones is perfectly acceptable behaviour.


    How's this for MSE?
    Just think, if we spent less time on consumption we'd have more time with our families, having fun, not stressing etc, all because you require less time at work to fund your impossible dreams based on impossible standards, designed around manipulating you. That's what MSE is all about right? No debt, no stress, and more family, sport, and healthy time?

    If you disagree, are curious, don't understand, or just would like to discuss, feel free to PM me

    [edit]
    I should probably add for PC that i'm not against straws for enabling those who require them. But am certainly against the notion that straws somehow protect your teeth.
    • Hexane
    • By Hexane 30th May 19, 4:16 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Hexane
    Paper staws still use resorces and from trees that take a long time to grow.
    Originally posted by Doom_and_Gloom
    This is slightly misleading. Sustainable forestry for producing paper is a cost-driven business based on planting the trees that will be required for the end product. Paper producers (or at least the kind that people frequenting this forum will be buying from) do not go around looking for a fresh virgin rainforest to chop down. Instead they have managed forests expressly for the purpose. If the trees take a long time to grow, they will simply plant more trees - a lot more trees - in order to make sure they always have enough raw materials ready to go. And they choose fast-growing timber which is beneficial because the faster it grows, the more climate-changing CO2 it removes from the atmosphere (admittedly it all goes back in eventually).

    Now there is still the argument that some of these huge managed forests are on land that would never naturally have had such forests on them. And it's still usually true that a re-useable item will have less environmental impact than a single-use item (even from sustainable forestry).

    But it's also a question of how far one is willing to go. I was watching a TV programme recently about sheep farmers on the Yorkshire moors, who have been farming like that for generations. There is an argument that we should all stop eating meat, put those sheep farmers out of business, throw them off their land that they've farmed for generations, and re-wild their "unnatural" hill pastures for environmental benefit. All environmentally sound, but not sure it would be very popular.

    Likewise I plan to continue using single-use paper-based toilet roll (from the sustainable forests that I mentioned) even though I know that there are alternative ways of achieving the same end. The used toilet roll can't be recycled, just like tissue paper can't be recycled (please don't put tissue paper in your recycling, it risks contaminating an entire recycling load and having the whole truckload of potentially recyclable paper sent to landfill instead). Maybe this is a change I should be willing to make for the sake of the environment, but that's not what I've decided.

    Sorry for the off topic diversion, just wanted to address the point about slow-growing trees and cover a couple of related points along the way.

    Back on topic, is it possible to find waxed paper straws that are made from recycled materials?
    Last edited by Hexane; 30-05-2019 at 4:31 PM.
    7.25 kWp PV system (4.1kW WSW & 3.15kW ENE), Solis inverter, myenergi eddi & harvi for energy diversion to immersion heater. myenergi hub for Virtual Power Plant demand-side response trial.
    • kevin52
    • By kevin52 2nd Jun 19, 2:44 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    kevin52
    100 paper straws for 1.75 at IKEA
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 2nd Jun 19, 2:59 PM
    • 600 Posts
    • 2,730 Thanks
    1961Nick
    I can't remember the last time I used a straw...plastic, paper or otherwise?....Can someone tell me why we actually need them
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141) - 30 pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • couriervanman
    • By couriervanman 2nd Jun 19, 3:13 PM
    • 288 Posts
    • 497 Thanks
    couriervanman
    I can't remember the last time I used a straw...plastic, paper or otherwise?....Can someone tell me why we actually need them
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    Well they save your teeth from a hammering if you like the odd fizzy drink
    • Andy_WSM
    • By Andy_WSM 2nd Jun 19, 6:45 PM
    • 2,151 Posts
    • 4,574 Thanks
    Andy_WSM
    I can't remember the last time I used a straw...plastic, paper or otherwise?....Can someone tell me why we actually need them
    Originally posted by 1961Nick

    Some people have disabilities that means drinking with a straw is easier. Some people have sensitive gums which means drinking a cold drink is uncomfortable without a straw. I'm sure there are lots of other reasons.

    • downliner
    • By downliner 4th Jun 19, 5:51 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    downliner
    McDonalds have changed from plastic to paper straws and i'm not sure what it is but it just feels awful to drink a milkshake with a damp paper straw.
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