Say “Pasta la Vista” to Plastic Straws


Oliver Jamias, Contributor

The type of material a straw is made out of has been a recent topic that is gaining a large amount of attention and environmental concern.  Plastic straws are easily mass produced and disposable, but hurt the Earth’s oceans with millions of tons of trash annually and also take several human lifetimes to fully decompose.  Metal straws are reusable and durable, but are the most hazardous to use when it comes to possible injuries and sanitation issues.  Paper straws are about as easy to produce as plastic straws and more environmentally friendly, but they also give the user the taste of wet, soggy paper when drinking and are also don’t last nearly as long as other straws.

For well over a year now, straw companies Stroodles (based in the U.K.) and The Amazing Pasta Straw (based in Malibu) have been selling an alternative to all of these other fluid-suction devices: a straw made from (you guessed it) pasta.

This straw, which is essentially a stronger and more durable version of bucatini pasta, has several benefits that other straws do not have.  Due to being uncooked pasta that mostly consists of wheat and water, the straws have no taste and thus do not affect the overall drinking experience, but are still edible if someone would like to eat them for whatever reason.  Pasta straws are also one of the most environmentally friendly out of all straw choices, being able to naturally decompose over the course of a few hours (as opposed to several months or years), as well as being vegan (but not gluten free).  Neither sanitation and nor cleanliness, as with all disposable single-use straws, are not problems when it comes to pasta straws.  The texture of the straw itself also highly resembles the smooth feeling of a regular plastic straw, just in case texture is a deal-maker or breaker for anyone.

Maxim Gelmann, founder of Stroodles, has stated that the main reason for the creation of his company was not to sell special straws and attack people who do use non-environmentally-friendly products, but to rather encourage people in a more subtle manner to be more mindful of their environment.  With straws, Gelmann is able to exactly that: selling environmentally-friendly products that are used daily.  Instead of getting in people’s faces to tell them to “save the Earth” and condemning their actions, Gelmann hopes that a quiet approach like this will help people realize how much damage to the planet they are doing in everyday life and enlighten more people about the state of the Earth.

While pasta straws are more expensive to manufacture and buy than plastic straws and paper straws and are not as nearly as durable as metal straws for obvious reasons, the benefits that are offered by these straws are able to overshadow the disadvantages it has over other types of straws.  Overall, this balance between the benefits of all types of straws is a step in the right direction when it comes to saving the Earth, one piece of trash at a time.