We, proud soda-sipping Americans, use more than 500 million plastic straws every day. They’re too light to pass through recycling sorters, resulting in 275 tons of daily trash. Too much of that ends up floating across our lakes, rivers, and shores.
If you haven’t seen of biologists pulling a straw out of the bleeding nose of a turtle, note that scientists have also found plastic perforating the stomach of penguins, and estimate that more than a million birds die each year from plastic consumption. Experts estimate that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
With a few medical exceptions, straws are entirely and incontrovertibly unnecessary. And yet, I can’t live without them. When I order an iced coffee or a movie-theater soda, I need a straw. I can’t explain why it tastes better—neither can Google. But it does. Seeking a solution to my straw problem and ensuing straw guilt, I discovered . The family-owned business has made reusable glass drinking straws in Orange County, California, since 2012. The idea for the company came from Cyndi Sladics, the family matriarch, who spent 31 years as a dental hygienist and recommended straws to patients with sensitive teeth and staining worries. Her concern for the environment inspired her to come up with a reusable, BPA-free alternative to throwaway straws. has now sold more than 150,000 glass straws and donates 1 percent of its profits to charity.
The straws come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, for about $9 each. They are surprisingly durable (with a lifetime warranty) and dishwasher-safe. I bought three and use them daily. One stays at my office desk, one for home, and one with a case travels in my purse. My favorite is clear glass. It barely stands out plunged into a Dunkin’ Donuts cup or angled into a restaurant water glass. It’s a small step, but one that I feel good about every time I hear ice clinking up against the glass. It makes my drinks taste even better.