Details: Since March of 2007 GlassDharma has been producing glass drinking straws. The GlassDharma mission is to create world-wide awareness about single use plastics and how damaging plastic straws are to our environment. Glass Straws provide an alternative that eliminates the need for straws made from plastic.
Personal Experience: GlassDharma was generous enough to send me a sampling of their straws for the purpose of this review.
Ok, I’ll admit it… my first thought when I heard about glass straws was, “What? Why?” It wasn’t until I read the informational page on GlassDharma’s page that it really began to click. Plastic… including plastic straws… are wasteful. Consider this: Plastic straws are always in the top 10 of number of items collected during beach cleanups. Or how about this: As of March 2008, McDonald’s serves an average of 52 million meals PER DAY! (Per their website) Of those served, how many do you think were given a plastic straw? Remember, this is just from McDonalds!! Are you getting the picture?? It’s scary!
You’ve also probably heard of the risks of plastics (think BPAs). There are numerous scientific studies showing risks of chemicals leaching into our food and drink when using plastics. It’s simply healthier to eliminate plastics where you can.
With this in mind, I was excited to get my straws and put them to use. They arrived individually wrapped in long brown boxes. (Occasionally, brushes for cleaning are included to reduce packaging.
The Simple Elegance straws are great all-purpose straws. If I were to buy a bunch of basic straws for everyday use, this is the way I would go. I was surprised by how thick, yet lightweight the straws were. You could tell that they were stronger than you’d ever expect when you hear the phrase “glass straw.” I got this style in a Smoothie size… it was just right for tasty homemade malts and root beer floats.
The Beautiful Bend straw is very much like the Simple Elegance, but with a little twist. The top angles for more comfortable drinking. I was impressed with how cleanly the straw angled. There were no wrinkles in the glass or bulges inside the straw at the bend. Overall a great multi-purpose straw, as well.
The Decorative Dots straws are my favorite. These would be great for parties, groups, or families because each straw contains small “dots” attached to the side (available in up to 6 different colors) that can help distinguish drinks from each other. I got to experience these in two sizes… a longer, average straw length and the small sippers that are essentially the glass version of cocktail stirrers.
All of the designs were comfortable to sip through. There is a difference in the sensation in your mouth and on your lips, but it is different in a good way. The liquids don’t pick up any flavors like they sometimes do with plastics straws. (Am I the only one that notices that?) I also tend to notice that liquids warm quickly going through typical straws, but they didn’t seem to do that with the glass. This was particularly obvious when I used ice… it chilled the straw too. I’ve never had such a tasty root beer float! 🙂
Even my three year old enjoys using them. His everyday glasses are small covered cups with straws. He was so thrilled when I swapped out the usual straw for the sipper. It fit his cups perfectly and it had him drinking more water than ever. (As an aside… we really need to get him to take to potty training!) It seems as though he is enjoying the colder, fresher liquids as much as Mommy and Daddy. I would love to find a glass toddler cup as durable as these straws! GlassDharma is getting there. They make retrofit straws to work with Camelback water bottles and common reusable coffee cups… and alluded to the fact that they are working on making full-glass versions of those cups available.
The straws sell for $7 to $12 per straw. You can also by them in sets to save an average of $5 per set. They come in a variety of lengths and widths.
Pros: Made of strong borosilicate tubing (think Pyrex®), which is microwave and dishwasher safe. Available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit most your needs… they will even do custom designs. Can be purchased individually or in packages. Helps in reducing the use of plastics.
Cons: Obviously, there is a potential for chipping or breakage, but it very unlikely to break under normal use. If it does break or chip, GlassDharma will repair or replace the straw. The price is a bit high for up-front costs, but if you frequently use straws you will recover that cost in little time.