What exactly is the purpose of a drinking straw?

What exactly is the purpose of a drinking straw?

Day 1 has come and gone and I have already broken the rules.  Went out for lunch, innocently ordered a passion fruit juice aaaand forgot to say “no straw please.”

I’m not used to uttering this phrase and I’m sure many of my plastic drinking straws grace rubbish dumps and landfills around the world.  So, I hope this digression has taught me to ask for no straws because I am oh-so ashamed.

And rubber (plastic) duckies?!

Consequently, I’ve been thinking all day long: why the heck do we even use these things?  A glass, one hand, lips and a small amount of coordination is really all you need to achieve the simple task of drinking.   Unless, of course, you are lacking these things, then I see the absolute utility of the plastic drinking straw.  But most of us can handle picking up a glass and bringing it to our lips.  Ahhh, hydration.

OK, so it’s probably not the challenge of drinking that made the straw such a staple utensil in modern day society.  Some sources I’ve perused on the internet suggest that straws became prevalent as a result of epidemics and the fear of unclean glassware.  Perhaps.  Even so, I don’t think the straw will provide much protection there.  Not to mention we’ve made a few strides in the last century in the health and safety department.

Yet the straw persists.  Wherever you eat, there it will be, in all its colourful plastic-y badness.  It’ll spare your biceps a few calories of work and ensure that your lips don’t touch the glass.  It will also outlive you and your children and their children and . . . you get the point.

So, this month, and hopefully all months after that, I will remember to say “no straw please.”

PS.  If you think straws are really fun, paper straws are making a comeback!  They also come in fun colours.  I like to use bamboo straws for my smoothies and iced coffee drinks.

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