What's in a reusable metal straw?
On this first issue, I want to talk about an iconic item to eco warriors: the reusable straw. Ah, the quintessential reusable straw. Interestingly, I once had a guy who challenged my understanding over metal straws/cutlery during one of my pop-ups. Thankfully, I was able to answer him sufficiently, which led me to find out he was a metal engineer and was curious about it. This leads me to writing about this
🍴 Always choose at least 304 grade stainless steel: it carries 18 %chronium & 8%nickel. Chronium fortifies against corrosion & rust with long exposure to food acidity, moisture.
Avoid 201 & 401 types which have lower chronium and substitues with maganese which is not so resistant to degradation (pictured below).Usually straws selling at ridiculously low prices use this grade, as Ive discovered from supplier quotes that the difference in cost price is a big one. Grade 316 is a surgical level of steel and is best for people who drink copious amounts of juices and apple cider vinegar, both which has high acidity level.
🍴 Invest in good quality: metal extraction takes a high toll and carbon footprint on environment. Hence, when choosing a metal straw, dont buy blindly from shops. Question their origin, and best is to ask for certifications like globally recognized SGS certifications which puts metals straws to test, and if their metal content passes their rigourous stress tests, like a titration test. We carry ours at every event to allay such worries, so ask me and id gladly show you!
🍴 Electroplated vs spray painted: for us, we chose colored straws that are electroplated (using heat, chemical, electricity) to safely change the metal shade. Cheaper versions opt for a spray paint which is not as lasting and prone to chip off over use. You can tell the difference as electroplating colors look smoother.
Hope this helps you put your next reusable metal purchase into perspective!