Are Plastic Straws Recyclable?

November 28, 2020

Plastic straws are now seeing bans the worldover, and with good reason. It’s estimated 8.3 billion straws pollute beaches all over the globe every year!

But what to do with the plastic straws that are in our cupboards, and why are there so many polluting beaches and in landfill? Shouldn’t they be recycled like other plastics?

Can you recycle plastic straws?

Technically yes, straws are made from polypropylene which is a widely recycled form of plastic. 

Good news! Well, not really.

Unfortunately because straws are so lightweight and small they will likely fall through gaps in recycling sorting machinery (which is designed to remove contamination), which ends up in them going straight to landfill.

How to dispose of plastic straws?

Before you throw all your plastic straws in with your normal household waste it is still worth contacting your local council or recycling scheme to ask for their advice, it may be that you can add plastic straws to a larger polypropylene container so that all the materials can be recycled together.


plastic straws

What to do with plastics straws that can’t be recycled?

You might think you have no choice other than throwing your straws away for them to go to landfill, but that should be your last choice!

Before throwing your straws away give one of the following ideas a go...

Reuse them

Plastic straws aren’t typically dishwasher safe but there’s no reason they can’t be washed in lukewarm soapy water, rinsed and dried to be reused, then when they get past their best don't throw them away, try one of these ideas first.

Turn them into an Ecobrick

Ecobricks are a building material that are formed from waste plastic packed into a bottle, they’re a pretty good solution to plastics that can’t otherwise be recycled. You can find out how to get started with Ecobricking by clicking here.

Get crafty

If you're the imaginative and crafty type i'm sure there’s a million different crafts and DIYs you can dream up, but, if you need a bit of inspiration check out this video below:

Okay, we admit, some of those are pretty stupid.

So what’s the alternative to plastic straws?

If you’re with us on the anti plastic straw team but not sure what to use as an alternative check out this post we did on the best reusable straw where analyse all the different straw types and who they’re best for.


Plastic Straws Suck

If you want a straw that’s built to last, looks the part and comes with a free linen carry case and plastic-free cleaners check out Soseas metal straws!

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