Thrifty Tips & tricks

Can You Reuse Plastic Straws?

The issue of plastic waste and the use of single-use plastics has been a growing concern worldwide as plastic pollution threatens our environment. Straws are made from plastic, and their use has been at the forefront of this concern. While paper straws and reusable metal straws have gained popularity, the question remains – Can you reuse plastic straws?

You can technically reuse a plastic straw, but it is not recommended for food and drinks as the small opening is prone to bacteria growth and the plastic wears off over time. Instead, you can reuse plastic straws for practical purposes such as in crafts, to hold spices, or to keep flowers upright. Plastic straws are not recyclable and cannot be properly recycled. While metal straws can be washed and reused multiple times, plastic straws are not durable and will not last long.

Factors to consider when reusing plastic straws:

– How many times have you used the straw.
– Whether the straw has been cleaned appropriately.
– The type of drink or food you plan to use it for as well as what it has been used for.

Can You Reuse Plastic Straws?

Do’s and Don’ts:

– Do not reuse plastic straws for food and drinks as they can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
– Do not reuse plastic straws that are cracked or damaged.
– Do wash and sanitize plastic straws thoroughly before reusing them for non-consumable purposes.
– Do reuse plastic straws for practical purposes such as in crafts, to hold spices, or to keep flowers upright.


– After use, rinse the plastic straw with water and soap.
– Dip the straw in a solution of one-part vinegar and three parts hot water for at least five minutes.
– Rinse the straw with hot water and air dry.

While plastic straws are not recyclable, they can be reused for non-consumable purposes. However, the best way to reduce plastic waste is to avoid using single-use plastics altogether, including plastic straws. Instead, opt for reusable straws made from metal or glass or use paper straws – they can be recycled at a recycling centre. By taking small steps to reduce plastic use, we can make a significant impact on the environment.


So, what are some alternatives to plastic straws?

One option is to use paper straws, which are biodegradable and compostable. However, they can become soggy quickly and may not be ideal for all types of drinks. Another option is to use metal straws, which are durable and can be reused many times. They come in various sizes and shapes, making them suitable for different types of drinks. Some people also cut the straws from plastic bags, although this is not a long-term solution.

The environmental impact of plastic straws is significant.

Plastic waste pollutes our oceans and harms marine life. Plastic straws are just one type of single-use plastic that contributes to this problem. It takes hundreds of years for plastic straws to decompose, which means that every plastic straw ever made still exists in some form.

Fun fact. 

Did you know that the first known drinking straws were made of gold and silver and were discovered in southern Russia? These slender tubes were crafted during the Bronze Age and are over 5,000 years old. They were found in a burial mound known as a kurgan from the ancient Maikop culture in the northwestern Caucasus. The tubes were originally thought to be sceptres or canopy poles, but a new interpretation suggests that they may be the world’s oldest drinking straws. The researchers believe that these straws were designed for sipping beer, which was fermented from barley around 13,000 years ago in the Near East.

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