Petroleum-based plastic straws are polluting our oceans, disrupting our ecosystems, impacting human health and contributing to the overall demise of our planet. Innovative alternatives to plastic straws keep emerging in the market to tackle the plastic straw issue, which has become popular in the last few years in light of more widespread plastic straw bans.
Holy City Straw Company produces single-use Wheat Straws that are biodegradable. What’s exciting about this product is that Holy City Straw Company’s wheat straw offers a better drinking experience compared to paper options that don’t seem to hold up, and to plant-based compostable plastic varieties, which require industrial composting.
The Wheat Straws are made from the stem of the wheat plant, not from the grain. These straws are single-use and zero-waste. They are also biodegradable and therefore, unlike plastic and paper straws, don’t pile up in oceans, landfills or recycling centers. Commercial composting is not required, so you can easily compost these straws at home.
Compared to paper straws, which are also another eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws, the drinking experience of wheat straws is more pleasant in terms of texture. I think that this product is perfect for those that aren’t into reusable straws that require regular cleaning or the disposable paper alternatives that get soft and soggy within a matter of seconds. This straw is strong enough to be used all day and then dispose of sustainably. While the wheat straw is single-use, the company also offers a reusable straw that is made of reed. Both the reed straw and wheat straw are compostable, biodegradable, and zero waste.
Furthermore, these straws are Gluten-Free, GMO-Free, Chemical-Free, and Pesticide-Free. If you’re curious about how the product is gluten-free even though it's made of wheat here’s the answer: these straws are made from the wheat plant's stem, which is separate from the seed. It’s the seed part of the wheat, not the stem, that contains gluten. Therefore, using the stem makes these wheat straws are gluten-free.
Last but not least, the straws come in two sizes: short (5.75 inches) and standard tall (7.75 inches). The company produces tall straws for regular drinks while short straws are for cocktail glasses or other shorter glasses. Furthermore, these straws can be used to drink both hot and cold drinks. I really like that the company produces both short and tall straws because why waste the tall one when you can use a smaller straw for a shorter glass?
Current straw providers fail to address the problem of microplastics or carbon footprints, as all their products are manufactured in factories. On the other hand, Holy City Straw Company’s straws don’t require manufacturing because they’re cut directly from wheat stems and sterilized without using chemicals. These straws require no manufacturing and they eliminate upstream carbon usage and downstream waste.
Holy City Straw Company’s gluten-free Wheat Straws are sustainably made from reclaimed grain harvesting material. They source their wheat from small to medium sized FDA-certified farms in southeast Asia. Basically, the company uses the agriculture waste after harvest of the plant to produce wheat straws.
In order to produce wheat straws, the company uses a simple sterilization process that involves three steps. Firstly, they cut the straws from the wheat stems. Secondly, they wash the wheat straw three times using high temperature sterilization/salt water disinfection methods to remove any dirt and other impurities. As a last step, they naturally bake the reclaimed grain harvesting material. It’s important to note that no chemicals are ever used in this sterilization process. The leftover wheat stems are turned into single-use, zero waste wheat straws. This left over material would normally be burned, or used as livestock feed. However, by producing wheat straws, the company creates a sustainable product.
Holy City Straw Company is based in Charleston, South Carolina, and it was formed in 2019 to solve the current “Drinking Straw” dilemma facing both consumers and businesses in today’s environmentally conscious world. An explosion of microplastics is harming our environment and ultimately impacting our food supply and health, making plastic and waste free straws a particularly important cause.
The wheat stem straws originate from small batch farms throughout southeast Asia while the design, distribution, fulfillment and sales are all handled in North America. The company is overall environmentally sustainable and they indicate that they choose carbon free shipping methods. However, it’s not clarified whether or not they use carbon free shipping throughout the whole supply chain. They might be using carbon free shipping only when they ship products to consumers via online purchases, but it’s unclear if it’s the same for retailer purchases, etc.
In terms of giving back to the community and environment, Holy City Straw Company is a member of the 1% for the Planet global organization and movement. The company pledges 1% of their sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.
Instead of taking centuries to decompose like traditional plastic straws, these wheat straws are completely compostable sipping utensils that can go from the ground to your glass, and safely back into the ground, in just a few months. It’s time to eliminate single-use plastic straws from our lives!