McDonald’s have recently changed their plastic drinking straws, to much more ethical paper straws. Sadly, some people don’t find the change a positive one and those who order a McDonald’s milkshake (which are notoriously thick and hard to suck through even a plastic straw) are finding the change hardest of all.
The paper straws are collapsing under the strain and once wet, aren’t pleasant to drink from. This has caused so much uproar that there’s a petition to go back to the plastic drinking straws, even knowing the current effect of plastic on the environment.Thankfully, there are alternatives which are just as good for the environment as paper that you can carry in your bag — so you can have your McDonald's milkshake, and save the planet. Click To Tweet
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Bamboo Drinking Straws
Bamboo drinking straws are a fun and eco-friendly alternative to plastic that can be used with any beverage, hot or cold. These straws are made from the whole bamboo stalk — nothing is re-compressed or processed which gives them a natural, reassuring feel and look.
Stainless Steel Drinking Straws
Stylish and durable, these straws are perfect to pop into the bottom of your bag for when you need them the most. Most are sold with a travel bag and brush, so they can be washed and kept clean while not in use. Only suitable for cold drinks as metal conducts heat, although some brands have solved this problem by adding a silicone sleeve to the end of the straw.
I bought some of these, and we keep them in the car for those moments when a McDonald’s milkshake just has to happen.
Collapsible, Foldable Drinking Straws
If you don’t have much room in your bag, this collapsible version can be folded up and stored in the smallest of places — like your pocket. These often come in a travel case making them much more appealing to throw into school bags and travel bags, and can be folded and clicked into place. Made from metal, these are only suitable for cold drinks.
Silicone Drinking Straws
Sold in a variety of widths, these are a really good option to have in the kitchen draw. Wider straws are perfect for drinks such as smoothies so that fruit doesn’t clog up the straw — and they work really well on the thick McDonald’s shakes too.
Glass Drinking Straws
Pleasing to the eye, glass straws might not be suitable for throwing into your bag but they are perfect for daily use at home. Made from a similar material to Pyrex, they can survive a few knocks but probably not being dropped from a height into the ground.
Keeping Your Drinking Straws Clean
Something that puts people off of reusing drinking straws is the ‘disposable effect’. We’ve used disposable straws for so long, it seems almost alien to consider washing and reusing them.
They are washable and reusable — use a jar of warm water with a little soap to shake them clean, or clean with a pipe cleaner. Some can even be thrown in the dishwasher for extra reassurance.