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A plastic drinking straw is a simple thing with relatively modest value. It is a tube that helps make drinks easy to drink, especially from bottles and tumblers. Due to sanitation and ease of use reasons, the straws are disposable after use.
However, modern technology has seen the invention of reusable straws you can use for quite some time before they require disposing of. The reusable straws are constructed from durable materials such as silicone, metal, bamboo, and more.
Before the coming of plastic straws, individuals used naturally made straws from ryegrass. As said in the book The Small Grains, the manufacture of these straws was closer to wheat than plastic. Once bleached, the straws could be then assorted by hand before each stalk examined. The imperfect straws were being removed as the perfect ones were cut at the five lower joints for drinking purposes. After the removal of sheaths, the straws were washed before bundling them ready for sale in the market.
Although the rye straw was the first and most extensively utilized type of drinking straw, it never lacked significant problems. For instance, these straws mainly affected the taste of the drink. Besides, they tended to break down, leaving sediments at the bottom of the beverage.
The problem of the breakdown of these straws into beverages was solved by Stone, who invented paper straws. He wrapped a paper around a pencil and added some glue to make it hold together. Although the initial thought was for personal use, the paper straws soon flooded the market, especially with the rise of soda fountains at drugstores.
The paper straws equally had a problem as they were not as durable as the plastic. Although they did not affect the taste of the beverage like rye straws, the paper straws could eventually breakdown into the drinks. At around the 1960s, the plastic straws that were previously regarded as a sense of novelty because they were clear thus outweighed the paper model completely. The plastic straws were flexible and could bend to various angles as per the wish of the use. This was great for the plastic straws but bad for the environment as they were disposed of once used.
With the environmental risks that plastic straws come with, an entrepreneur tried to create alternatives to solve the posed by both plastic and paper straws in 2017. Most of these alternatives stress more on permanence over disposability and biodegradability. This implies you will carry your straw around to parties and celebrations regardless of how it may seem.
One of the alternatives to plastic and paper straws are the naturally made reusable Bamboo straws. These straws are handmade and designed for reuse for several years to come. Another material commonly used is metal, especially stainless steel. There are also glass drinking straws, but maybe quite dangerous if they break when drinking.
Modern straw technology has gone a notch higher with the invention of smart straws. These straws detect spiked drinks. Smart straws will detect Ketamine and GHB, elements that are commonly used in the manufacture of date rape drugs.
So, if you deep this straw into your beverage and stir the drink, the clear straw will change color to blue if it detects any drug. That way, giving you a clear indication and warning that your beverage is spiked.
With the ever-rising number of young people being drugged and taken advantage of, the mass production of these smart straws can come as a reprieve because ‘date rape’ culture will significantly reduce. If the scope of chemicals smart straws detect is expanded, then the death or harm caused to people from beverage poisoning can be a thing of the past.
Without a doubt, drinking straw technology has evolved over the centuries now, and it seems not to be halting. A lot of people take beverages on an average day and often with straws. A large number of these people use disposable plastic straws whenever they take a drink. And since we live in a disposable era and culture, you would probably spot them thrown everywhere in the streets.
Even with the coming of eco-friendly reusable straws still, the use of single-use plastic straws dominates across the world. Few cities like Seattle have banned the use of disposable plastic straws to cut down the amount of plastic in the landfills and the ocean threatening marine life.
It is everyone’s responsibility to reduce the need to use disposable plastic straws and instead use reusable eco-friendly ones. The menace created by plastic materials to marine life can significantly be reduced, especially when the ban on plastic bags has been implemented in most countries across the world.
The benefits of drinking straws are enormous, especially with the innovation of smart straw. That has made the problems brought by single-use plastic straws so insignificant that we take them for granted!
Now that you have known how straw technology has evolved through the ages to this date, let’s look at the different types of straws you can find in the market today.
Date Rape Drug Detection Straw
Drinking Water Test Kit
Water Purifying Straws
Are you often involved in outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, where survival situations are a real possibility? Well, you might want to have the best water purifying straw for your next adventure.
Most outdoor activities are tedious, and your body will need constant hydration for it to remain healthy. And perhaps, you have run out of clean water that you often carry along in your water bottle. A water purifying straw helps you filter less pure water source to ensure you drink clean water that is vital for your hydration.
A water purifying straw has an internal filtration system, which purifies water as it passes through it. Essentially, it filters out bacteria, protozoa, and viruses that often lurk in contaminated water sources. However, the kind of water purifying straw you choose will determine what contaminants it will block and ones that it cannot filter out when you are trying to purify water from the source.
Features of Water
The water purifying straw you buy will often come with a decent flow rate that allows you to filter up to a liter of water per minute. However, some filters can do up to two liters per minute. To determine the filter system’s ability to deliver a quick flow rate is to check the surface area of the straw. The bigger the filtering system, the higher the flow rate, the more water you get.
When comparing different straw water purifiers on the market, the product manufacture provides you an estimate as to how faster the straw can filter water. However, at times you may find a straw that the manufacture claims deliver a liter per minute, but when you use it, you find that it filters a bit slower than recommended.
Water purifying straws come with benefits that include;
What to Look For
When shopping for a water purifying straw can be a challenging undertaking. Without a doubt, a water straw purifier is limited in what it can filter out. Honestly, these devices can filter out most of the water contaminants, but it doesn’t mean that they can filter our viruses. Nonetheless, some water purifying straws promise to lock out viruses when in the real sense, it is not plausible.
Check the weight and size of the water purifying straw you intend to buy. A straw that fits well in your backpack is a great option. If you have a small space to store your straw once you have filled it with other survival necessities, it is ideal to go for the small-sized straw you can get. You can find models that are pocket-sized in the market.
Look at the kind of filtration system in the water purifying straw and keenly study what the straw can filters out and what it can’t filter from your water. Some manufactures suggest that their straws improve the flavor of your water, but you won’t know until you try one or more of their straws. By checking the filtration system, you will know whether that particular straw brand is the best for your needs or not.
You can also consider the price of the straw you intend to buy. It is advisable not to go for the least expensive just because you will pay less amount. However, you can go for one that is reasonably priced and has all the features you want. Investing in good quality water purifying straw is worth it because it may save your life one day!
How to Help in Water Purification Process
Regardless of the straw you buy, some common-sense tips make the entire process of purifying water through the straw easier. These tips will help you find the safest water source available, even under extreme survival circumstances.
Look for the Clearest and Stillest water: Finding a small pool of water, river, stream, or lake, where the water is calm, is a better source of water than where water has been recently disturbed from either running water or the latest storm. Calm water contains less debris to filter, whereas disturbed water has silt and sediments moving around in it. Moreover, clam waters have cryptosporidium and other water contaminants sunk, thus minimizing the risk of your exposure.
Refrain from fetching water directly after rainfall: This tip is similar to that of not fetching your drinking water from a disturbed water source. As the rain strikes the water, it stirs up its contents, thereby agitating the water to bring up debris and bacteria. Therefore, try to look for undisturbed water sources and unused by humans or animals.
Having pure water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation is vital, no matter where you are. And since water purifying straws are readily accessible and affordable, you don’t have any reason not to invest in one. However, when buying one from the market, consider the elements of portability, quality of water purified, ease of use, and the convenience the straw promises.
Best Reusable Straws
Are you looking to cut back on your plastic disposable straw use? Doing away with the little plastic tubes from your morning smoothies or iced coffee is doable and can make a significant difference. Besides, you will significantly by reducing a large amount of plastic water dumping into the ocean, especially in cities bordering the large water bodies.
As per the statistics from the World Economic Forum, sea-born plastic outweighs fish. Moreover, plastic waste is equally harmful to human health as it breaks down into micro-particles, which travel up the food chain along with its harmful toxins.
Fortunately, there are several eco-friendlier straws you can choose from. In this post, we have rounded up the four best reusable straws you can consider using as an alternative to disposable plastic ones at home, parties, and picnics.
But first, let’s look at how to keep the reusable straws clean. Since reusable straws are a new trend, there is still little information on how to best handle, clean, and store them. For instance, molds can grow inside the straw and can also be ideal for the growth of bacteria. As such, ensure to clean your reusable straw before and after every use as per the brand instructions. Dry them in an upright position to allow water and moisture to drain out before storing.
Best Bendable Straws
One of the universal drinking tools ever invented is the bendable straw. However, it took an existing invention – the “soda straw.” The bendable straw made it possible for individuals who couldn’t sit up at a tall counter and bend their heads to the angle required to sip out of a straight straw.
With the many brands of bendable in the market, choosing the best for your drinking needs can be challenging. However, with proper guidance, you can find your ideal bendable straw for your daily drinking as well as parties. But why should you go for bendy straws?
Best Disposable Straws
Disposable straws are a great alternative for those who find reusable ones burdensome in terms of cost and maintenance. Most cities and corporations are banning the use of plastic disposable straw owing to the dangers they pose to marine life.
However, this doesn’t mean that the production of these straws has stopped. You can still find the best disposable straws in the market should you want to use them. The question is, however, which ones are the best for your needs?
Here, we reviewed some of the best disposable straws you can find in the market. Check them below and see which ones are best suited for your upcoming birthday party, wedding, or any important occasion that requires the use of straws in large numbers.
Rienar Colorful Extra Long Disposable Drinking StrawsThe Rienar disposable drinking straws are made from 100% food-grade pellets and don’t feature any industrial powder or recycled materials. They come in a 100-piece set packaged in an odorless GMP package that is healthy.
All these disposable drinking straws measure 260mm long and 60mm in diameter, making them adaptable to different drink tumblers, glasses, juice bottles, and more. And since they are many, they come in handy in celebrations, parties, and occasions where individuals are required to take drinks from bottles or tumblers conveniently.
These straws are bendable, making them ideal for both adults and kids who wish to sip drinks in their unique ways and positions. Since they are disposable, you don’t have to worry about how to clean and ensure they are bacteria and molds free.
They come in a wide variety of colors for you and your friends to conveniently choose their favorite colors of drinking straws. So, if you are looking for disposable drinking straws for your next celebrations, these could be your ideal pick.