It’s been a while! Back-to-school season means I have less time to write here. Fun fact: in addition to teaching and blogging, I also work as a barista during the summer at the coffee shop I’ve worked at since high school! So this post about the best zero waste straws is based on a lot of research and many hours of sipping iced coffee.
When you look for zero waste straws on Amazon, you’re met with a gazillion different choices. Not all of them are great, either. I always try to purchase things locally to cut down on shipping waste, but if, like me, you can’t find compostable or reusable straws in your area, I recommend sticking to the options below or at least just buying straws that don’t have weird gibberish brand names because that’s usually a giveaway that they’re being dropshipped from who knows where and made with who knows what.
Why Zero Waste Straws
By now everyone knows that plastic straws suck. Literally and metaphorically. Plastic straws are 4% of the plastic waste we throw away each year. They harm sea turtles and other sea creatures, pollute the water, and they’re not recyclable.
Zero waste straws are either straws that can be used again and again or straws that can be composted. Because straws are ubiquitous at restaurants and coffee shops, it’s a good idea to get a straw that you can take with you wherever you go.
The Types of Zero Waste Straws
These are the types of zero waste straws that I’ve tested:
- Stainless Steel – Probably the most common type of reusable straw, but these can be problematic for some people because they are so hard.
- Glass – Another option that might not work for everyone, but these are reusable and once you’re done with them for good, they can be recycled.
- Silicone – A great zero waste straw option for anyone who wants a straw that’s soft and flexible but still reusable. The perfect choice for kids.
- Compostable Plastic-Like Straws – These look and feel like plastic, but they’re actually compostable! The very best option if you want something that performs like plastic straws, but that you can throw in your compost bin.
- Paper Straws – These are no one’s favorite–they will get soggy in your drinks after a while. There are some options that are better than others, though. Read on for my pick for best compostable paper straw.
What Makes These Straws My Favorite
The straws below are my choices for the best zero waste straws. I like them because they are made by trustworthy manufacturers, the reusable ones come with brushes or squeegees for cleaning, and they have overwhelmingly positive reviews online.
My Picks for the Best Zero Waste Straws
Hummingbird Glass Straws – $19.99 for 4. These are made in the USA with extra-strong borosilicate glass and come with a brush for cleaning.
SipWell Stainless Steel Drinking Straws – $4.89 for 4. These come in a few different sizes, so make sure you choose the right option. They come with a brush for cleaning too.
SoftyStraws – $10.99 for 4. Colorful and bendy, these silicone straws are the best option for kids. They come with a squeegee for cleaning.
Plasticless Straws – $9.99 for 200. We used these at the coffee shop I work with and did not receive a single complaint. They’re compostable and plant-based but perform just like plastic.
World Brand Kraft Paper Straws – $7.99 for 250. If you’re going to buy compostable paper straws, these are the best by far. They’re sturdy, dye-free and made from Kraft paper.
You can find more of my favorite zero waste products on my shop page!