Straws have no recovery system whatsoever, which should be illegal. In other words, there’s no way to recycle straws even if you wanted to. With the sheer volume of straws used on a daily basis (roughly 500 million per day in the U.S. alone), this amounts to a disgusting number of straws getting tossed in landfill and oceans each year. Look up the heartbreaking video of a straw being removed from a sea turtle’s nose and you’ll never want to use one again.
Better Alternatives: Stop using straws. Read my guide on how to banish straws from your life forever. Tell your server you don’t want one. If you’re a restaurant owner, adopt an “ask first” policy where you don’t hand out straws unless a client wants one. Stash some reusable ones in your bag. (My new tactic, after having one too many straws stuck into bar drinks accidentally, is simply to drink beer when I’m out because it comes in returnable glass bottles here in Canada.)