I remember using plastic straws to drink soft drinks as a child. Probably you used them too. We discarded them anyhow we saw fit thinking they will decompose. How naive we must have been. Still yet, these straws are used and thrown away after a single use. In the US alone, 500 million straws are discarded daily. That’s to show how ubiquitous plastic straws are in our environment.
Unknown to many, these plastic straws are not environmentally friendly and pose a threat to the environment and all that lives in them. Worst still, they take a very long time to decompose. The reality is that those plastic straws we used as kids are probably lying around somewhere. And guess what, it will outlive us and our great-grandchildren.
Faced with this problem, it becomes a thing of concern to know if there are other ways plastics can be reused. But before we dive in, let’s look at the concept of plastic and then plastic straws.
Just as the name implies, plastic straws are made of plastic. They are small and lightweight and come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Plastics and by extension, plastic straws are made of materials that don’t decompose easily.
Unfortunately, these single-use plastics are littered in our surroundings. They end up as landfill and pose a danger to us, our land, pollute the atmosphere when they come in contact with direct sunlight, and finally end up in the water bodies to harm the aquatic animals. The worst of it all is that most of them are not recycled. So we are left with just one option and that’s to find ways to reuse them.
Ways To Reuse Straws
Unknown to many people, plastic straws can be reused unlike the idea of reusable dental floss. Here are some various ways you can put them to good use.
1. Preven Your Jewelry From Tangling
Pieces of jewelry are precious possessions but sometimes they can tangle. And attempting to untangle them can be frustrating.
But you don’t need to worry anymore as there is a way out. A plastic straw can be used to prevent jewelry from tangling. All you have to do is to wrap your jewelry around the straw. This way the issue of tangling is solved.
2. Create A Pencil or Pen Holder on Your Books
Have you been in a situation where you wanted to quickly jot something down? You pick your book and alas there is no pen or pencil in it. This can be frustrating.
Drinking straws can be used to create a pen or pencil holder and you won’t face that kind of situation again.
3. Hair Curler
Are you tired of carrying straight hair and need some waves in it? Plastic straws will do the job perfectly.
It’s very simple to do, part your slightly damp hair into sections and curl your hair around the straw and secure it with a pin. After some time, lose it and you have your waves.
4. Vacuum Sealer
Food lasts longer in the freezer and maintains its quality when they are vacuum sealed. Getting vacuum sealer and bags are less affordable. But you can still store your food without air spoiling it by using a ziplock and a drinking straw.
Here’s what to do, put the food you want to store in a ziplock with your straw at one end of the bag. Then seal the bag till you reach where the straw is. Use the straw to suck out the air in the bag and your food is ready to be put in the freezer.
5. Label Cords
Plastic straws can be used to label cords. If you have many cords that are plugged in like a television cord, laptop cord, or decoder cord. You can easily confuse them with one another. So use a plastic straw to differentiate them.
Get a pair of scissors and cut the straw into smaller pieces. Cut open one side of these small pieces and label, afterwards, wrap around the cords. That way you will be able to distinguish the cords and not mix them up.
6. Decorate The Outside Of A Vase or Candle Holder
Paste double-sided tape around a vase. Then stick different colors of plastic straws around the vase to beautify it. This same process goes for the candle.
After putting the straw all around the candle, cut the tip with scissors to avoid fire melting it.
7. Make A Mock Bouquet With Straws
Used straws can be used to decorate a space like an office or a home. Gather a handful of colored straws and tie them together in the middle with a ribbon.
The center of the straw will stick out in multiple directions that look like a flower. Put them in a vase and you have succeeded in beautifying your space.
8. Make A Single-Use Dispenser
Are you about to travel and no space is remaining in your bag? Yet you haven’t put in your cream. At this point, you don’t know what to do. So many questions run throw your mind. How do I carry my cream along? And if I don’t, What do I do about my skin drying up?
At this moment, plastic straw comes in handy. They can be used to put your cream. Yeah, you heard me right. It’s very simple, put your lotion in the straw and seal both ends.
Your problem is solved as straw can enter the tiniest space in your bag and you have your cream for your journey.
How To Prevent Straw Waste
1. Enjoy Your Drinks Without A Straw
You can decide to enjoy your drink without a plastic straw if you care about our environment. One way to do this is to stop requesting straws when you go to the restaurant or cafe.
Even when offered a drinking straw, decline the offer and simply go without it by taking the lip off the cup and sipping your drink. That way you are saving the environment from additional plastics.
2. Buy Reusable Straws To Reduce The Use Of Plastics
This is another good alternative. You can decide to help curtail the number of straws tossed into the environment by using substitutes for drinking straws.
There are alternatives to plastic straws like stainless steel, bamboo, and glass. Unlike these straws, they can be used multiple times. All you have to do is to walk into a store and buy them. Then take them along with you when you go to restaurants. This way you can still enjoy your drink with straw.
If you have read to this point, you will agree with me that plastic straws can be reused. Reusing them is the best thing we can do to reduce their impact on our environment.
Since you are now aware of the ways you can reuse them, form the habit to reuse them instead of discarding them. Let us know the ways you intend to reuse your drinking straw when next you use them.
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