Plastic straws have become a basic necessity in the food and beverage industry that it’s safe to say that all restaurants and fast food chains cannot go a day without them. Aside from easier consumption of drinks, they also protect our teeth from stains due to the long-term exposure to dark-colored beverages and decreases possibility of tooth decay.

The other side of the story though poses serious threats because it turns out that plastic straws stands as one of the leading plastic products that cause detrimental effects in the environment. Plastic products degrade in an exceedingly slow pace, and the more they take time to degrade the more likely they will find their way to our oceans, thereby endangering our precious bodies of water. It is also alarming to note that the Philippines in particular contributes 1.88 million tons of “mismanaged plastic waste” each year, according to Greenpeace. Thus, the movement for boycotting plastic products has never been stronger.

In order to combat this phenomenon, environmentalists and non-environmentalists alike are shifting into using reusable and sustainable products such as stainless steel straws, food keepers and utensils. Aside from being environmentally friendly, they are shown to be durable, easy to use and are made up of food-grade materials, which make them safe to use.

If you’re ready to join the movement, here are ways to minimize plastic waste in our everyday lives:

  1. Avoid asking for disposable cutlery in restaurants and food joints. Instead, bring your own reusable utensils to minimize the consumption of one-time use products.
  2. Love milk tea? Frappe? Or any drink you can’t last a day without drinking? Why not bring your own tumbler and/or metal straw with you every time you buy one?
  3. Bring your own water bottle. It’s not a burden to bring your own water bottle! Although expensive, you will surely get what you paid for when you purchase aluminum and insulated water bottles.
  4. Try using bamboo products as well, such as bamboo toothbrush, straws and cutlery. These products are natural, safe, and sustainable
  5. Invest on a good and reusable food-container— aluminum, glass or plastic. These are more practical than Styrofoam or one-time use plastic containers that are hazardous not only for your health but also for Mother Nature.

To help you further shift to your zero-waste movement, here are shops that offer not just environment-friendly but also “budget-friendly” everyday materials.

  1. GoZero PH

They offer bamboo toothbrush (P75.00) and bent straw with cleaning brush (₱50 —pouch sold separately)

https://www.facebook.com/GoZeroPH/

  1. Eco Spot.ph

They have food-grade bamboo cutlery (P270 per pair), bamboo toothbrush (P85) and bent straw with cleaning brush (₱70 — pouch sold separately)

https://www.instagram.com/ecospot.ph/

  1. Gabby and Hummy

Bent or straight they don’t judge. Choose from their straws’ variety of colors: silver, gold, rose gold, black or mermaid! (starts at: ₱99; cleaning brush and pouch sold separately)

http://foreverstraw.gubbyandhammy.com/

  1. Sip PH

They offer reusable bamboo utensils for everyday use, including cutlery and chopsticks. Their sets of stainless steel straws start at ₱120 (with cleaning brush and pouch)

https://sip.ph/

  1. Vesxel Insulated Water Bottle

Water bottles start at ₱1,799; 32 oz. Cloudy White

https://www.instagram.com/myvesxel/

  1. Swell Bottle

Starts at: ₱1,850; 17 oz. Original bottles

https://www.swellbottle.com/

  1. Klean Kanteen

They also offer a wide range selection of BPA-free, reusable food containers for everyday use. (starts at: ₱1,950; 20 oz. Classic Insulated) https://www.facebook.com/KleanKanteenPhilippines/

Grazielle Cabaltera

Grazielle Cabaltera

Grace Cabaltera is the Content and Program Manager of Project Ripple.

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