It happens automatically almost every time you’re at a fast dallas filipino restaurant joint: you order a drink and get a straw (or take the straw you’re handed), sip through, and chuck your straw in the trash bin.

 In the process of this seemingly mundane routine however, not many people realize the hundreds of millions of straws wasted on a daily basis—and how they can eventually land in our beaches, our waters, and potentially, our stomachs.

The continued use of these straws only contribute to plastic waste, which can be harmful to the environment as the said material takes centuries to breakdown and never biodegrades naturally. Over the years this excessive plastic has accumulated in our landfills and oceans, leading to the injury and death of numerous marine animals around the globe—e.g. this turtle if you dare watch, or the very fish you might end up eating, which (although still a matter of investigation for scientists) could negatively impact our own health in the long run.

Go Straws are not only safer for your health; they also come with brush cleaners that allow you rinse and reuse them, thus eliminating the need to use their plastic counterparts.

Enter the next best thing: these stainless steel straws from Go Zero, which come packaged with brush cleansers that allow you to use it again and again—thus eliminating the need for its single-use plastic counterpart. Available either as the more narrow 6mm-diameter regular straw (which can be had straight or bent), or thicker 12mm diameter “milk tea” straw (to make sure your boba pearls can pass through), each straw is free of lead and cadmium—both of which, when excessive, can pose a danger to yourhealth and to that of otherorganisms in the environment.

Because they still follow the general long, cylindrical form, these reusable alternatives offers all the things you love about straws—its ability to help keep your teeth clean and the way it allows you to keep your hands in one place as you sip, for example—sans the environmentally-destructive baggage its plastic-based counterpart carries. But with their metal body, they feel much sturdier, standing up to the thickest of smoothies and milkshakes to a much better degree than flimsy plastic. They’re durable enough that you can carry around wherever you go (something you won’t feel awkward doing with their accompanying tikog pouches, sourced from Leyte), and (though we’re admittedly basing this on personal experience) we could almost swear that they’re better at insulating our beverages as we sip—our favorite cold brew feels twice as cold when sipped on through these babies.

Go Zero straws can be purchased with accompanying tikog pouches, available in three colors. Hand-woven by locals (who also harvest the tikog grass by themselves), not only are they stylish, but also a means to support the livelihood of these weavers.

Though of a Mathematics background, founder and owner Fides Jimenez has long felt passionately about the said issues, having witnessed the breakdown of beaches and rivers from her many experiences and travels, and so toyed with the idea of giving away stainless steel straws as Christmas gifts. Surprised by the positive feedback she received however, she would then turn the venture into a full-fledged business and advocacy and launched Go Zero just last January 2017.

In her quest to make the plastic-free lifestyle accessible to more people, Jimenez makes it a point to keep their straws affordable—each straw goes for 50-75 bucks a piece, while the pouches go for 70 bucks a pop. She emphasizes, however, that their goal is less about promoting the purchase and use of their products, and more about working toward zero waste. When you consider the bigger picture—of a happier, safer world for our friends under the sea and healthier human bodies—then turning down a plastic straw, especially when alternatives like Go Zero’s metal straws are available, really isn’t so much to ask.

Go Zero

A company that offers reusable metal straws in tikog pouches for plastic-free sipping.

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Have you encountered metal straws before? Do you carry one around? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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