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Plastic ban: glass drinking straws as a reusable alternative

We all like to grab a cool drink, especially on warm days or while we are on the go, and we tend to enjoy it with straws. Using plastic straws has been a common practice, but more and more countries are now banning their use and thankfully there are already good alternatives to plastic: drinking straws made of glass, for example.

Man have been using drinking straws made of various materials for many thousands of years. There were already alternatives to the plastic straw. GlasWerk drinking straws made of glass are among the most sustainable alternatives because the glass used is completely recyclable.

Who invented the drinking straw?

The oldest surviving drinking straw dates back to around 3000 BC and it was found in a Sumerian tomb. Illustrations on clay jugs show people drinking beer with long pipes. It is believed that the drinking straws were used to filter out fermentation residues. This suggests that the Sumerian must have been the first ones to use a drinking aid.

The bombilla, a metal drinking tube with strainer, is used for drinking mate tea for a similar reason.

In the 19th century, it was fashionable to drink alcoholic mixed drinks with a rye grass straw – the original form of the straw. While drinking his favorite cocktail, the American Marvin Chester Stone – a cigarette holder manufacturer – got bothered with the grassy aftertaste the straw gave. He came up with the idea of making the straw out of paper and in January 1888, he patented for a paper drinking straw. Later, he developed the paper straw and coated it with wax to avoid dissolving the glue.

In the 20th century, bending drinking straws were first used in hospitals later in 1930s. These were invented by Joseph Friedman.

Around 1950s, the use of plastics was very high, so the industrial production of plastic drinking straws was a logical progression. Nobody expected the consequences for the environment at the time.

What types of drinking straws are available?

Throughout history, not only the material, but also the shape of drinking straws were constantly changing. Today, plastic straws are available in a variety of lengths, diameters and shapes. In addition to the classic straight drinking aid, we can enjoy drinks with flexible straws, flavoured straws or straws that change colour. We can also buy drinking straws that comes with personalised prints or with colourful motives stickers.

What materials are used for drinking straws nowadays?

Today, we already know a many of the materials used for making drinking straws. Be it paper, grass, pasta straws or bamboo, stainless steel or glass.

In practice, all different materials show their advantages and disadvantages. Paper and grass, in particular, soften when left for longer in the drink. Stainless steel is opaque and you can never be sure whether all the residues from the last smoothie have been removed.

Straws made of glass make a difference here. You can see immediately through the glass whether dirt remains on the inside. The cleaning of the glass stem can be done by either hand or in a dishwasher. You can also remove stubborn dirt from the inside with the GlasWerk cleaning brush.

Glass drinking straws are reusable and environmentally friendly. GlasWerk sustainable products from TFA

Glass drinking straws are reusable and environmentally friendly. GlasWerk sustainable products from TFA

GlasWerk drinking straws made of glass are sustainable

Drinking straws are used in many everyday situations. No wonder the consumption is so high: According to Statista, nearly 24 billion plastic drinking straws are consumed each year in the 13 EU states. With the upcoming plastic ban, the plastic drinking straw will soon become history.

Infographic: Billions of Discarded Straws | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Why use glass as an alternative to plastic for drinking aid?

We usually associate purity, hygiene, recycling and timelessness with glass as a material. All these qualities make glass ideal when looking for drinking straws without plastic.

But not every glass is the same. Depending on the intended use, various substances are melted together during its production. So, there are a variety of glasses, for instance, one which has properties such as temperature resistance for the future end product, or another used especially for the production of optical lenses.

Many types of glass, especially with special properties, cannot be recycled. Borosilicate glass is used in laboratories because of its high resistance to heat. This is a type of special glasses and it cannot be simply recycled in an old glass recycling plant.

Glass straws also contain different types of glasses used. GlasWerkTrinkhalme be made of soda-lime glass, which is also known as normal glass. It can be recycled endlessly and it is therefore used for preserving jars, bottles and drinking vessels.

We use a special procedure to relax the stems in the production of GlasWerk drinking straws made of glass. This way, the drinking straws are particularly resistant to breakage.

Whom are straws made of glass suitable for?

Glass drinking straws are suitable for all ages and for many applications, just like its predecessors made of plastic. The only exception: doing handicraft. You cannot make funny faces figures with straws made of glass!

Drinking straws made of glass are ideal, even for children, because they will not chew on the solid stalks. Experience has shown that young children tend to chew on soft and pliable materials.

Restaurants and hotels benefit from the sustainable drinking straw. The stalks can be cleaned in industrial dishwashers without any problems.

What do we need drinking straws for?

The meaningful use and nonsense of drinking straws widely discussed, especially now that we are looking for straws without plastic. Suddenly, we all question the use of straws. For people who cannot drink from cups or drinking glasses due to illness or physical impairments, the need for the drinking aid is clear.

An iced coffee with whipped cream is definitely the type of drink for which a drinking straw is of a help. Apart from these, there is hardly a field of application in which a drinking straw is absolutely necessary.

For which occasion are glass drinking straws suitable?

Most of us enjoy setting the table in a way which is visually appealing and stylish, especially when it comes to special occasions. Drinking straws made of glass complement the table’s decoration in a very special way. Timeless and elegant, the straws blend into every colour scheme.

GlasWerk drinking straws made of glass: in short

A drinking straw provides the right drinking experience with many different drinks and liquid foods: from exotic mixed drinks to fruity juice spritzers to milk and coffee specialties. The days of the plastic straw are numbered. Glaswerk drinking straws are the ideal replacement for plastic whether it is at home, in restaurants or hotels. The different sizes of the glass straws makes them suitable to almost every drink.

Glass drinking straws are not only reusable. They do not afect the taste due to the purity of the material. Thanks to their resistance to breakage, they are just as suitable for domestic dishwashers as for industrial ones used in the hotel and restaurant industry.

Let us treat ourselves in the future with this little luxury and enjoy our favorite drink with a glass drinking straw. And now in a noble and sustainable way with GlasWerk drinking straws made of glass.