Straws and Waste

One doesn’t think of straws as particularly wasteful. After all, they don’t take up much space in the trash. In fact, they actually are because of the sheer volume used every day. According to, the average person sips through 38,000 or more straws in their lifetime. We use 500 million straws every day, or enough disposable straws to fill over 46,400 large school buses per year. Rarely do they get recycled or reused, so all these straws, plus their plastic or paper wrap, end up in the landfill.



One also doesn’t think of straws as unhealthy either, but as I always say, food (or drink) and plastic don’t go together, and the majority of straws are plastic.

Some people prefer using a straw in restaurants to insure cleanliness. And some states require restaurants to serve straws with open beverages. But when you don’t want a straw, simply asking a server not to give you one will help reduce waste as well as send a message to the restaurant.

As with most products, there are several eco-friendly alternatives you might not know about. Reusable glass straws that come with a cleaning brush, biodegradeable and compostable ones made from plant-based plastic, and paper straws are much healthier choices for you and the environment.








Simple steps that make a difference……..






Straw manufacturers provided the above statistics. Some environmental groups think these statistics are low since they don’t include straws attached to juice boxes and milk cartons.

For more green living tips, visit

Information compiled from: and



6 responses to this post.

  1. I know a lot about straws. I’ve been drinking everything out of one for 5 years. Coffee, tea, beer, wine, water, lots of water, everything. I’m still using the same box of straws I started with and wash them after using, I carry mine in a ziplock in my purse. It’s a nasty looking ziplock now. When one straw is a gonner, I put it in the recycling bin. I hope they recycle but they don’t get many. I don’t take the straws at a restaurants unless they are bendy straws. Then I take them home with me. I would be so happy to not need a straw again but I can see how that added to all the other stuff can be a landfill problem.


  2. This is a very helpful reminder, and helpful information about alternatives! Thank you, Betsy.


  3. I have glass and stainless steel straws – and just came across these bamboo straws!! These are a very affordable alternative for people who find glass and stainless steel ones cost prohibitive! (affiliate link)


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