Single-use plastic straws have long been plaguing the environment and our precious seas. Should we continue to use as many straws around the globe as we do now, we would be amassing more plastic than fish in the waters by the year 2050. While the crackdown on plastic also involves carrier bags and disposable coffee cups, straws are the number one target, detrimental to marine life everywhere.

In Malaysia, our journey to eliminate the use of single-use plastic products has been a tumultuous one. There are practical initiatives in place to curb the use of plastic including implementing plastic bag-free days, charging a fee for carrier bags, and also switching to paper based food packaging for takeaways. People are gradually becoming increasingly aware, though it is progressing rather slowly.

Photo: Greenblender

That said, we’re finally seeing a bigger move being made as the Penang state exco Phee Boon Poh has just announced a state-wide ban on single-use plastics. The first phase of the ban will include banning plastic straws and caps for paper cups in restaurants, food outlets, cafes and hotels, and this will follow after with roadside hawker stalls and mamak stalls. As of now, they are in the midst of compiling a list of single-use plastics to be banned for approval.

We’re hopeful, but implementing such a policy isn’t child’s play and there are other complicated issues involved. However, perhaps it’s about damn time and with Penang leading the example, there is then a higher likability for other states to follow suit. Cannot live without straws? There are various other alternatives made from metal, silicone and even bamboo.

Without further ado, here’s where you can buy your own reusable straws and put them to good use the soonest possible:

Lazada – A quick search on Lazada yields pages and pages of results, with sets of eight metal straws plus the cleaning brushes averaging about RM18.

Shopee – On Shopee, similar sets are somewhat cheaper, averaging about RM9.90 and above per set.

The Hive Bulk Foods – Bamboo straws are RM4, whereas the metal straws (in a variety of sizes and colours) are priced between RM7 and RM8. Glass straws are RM12.

Frangipani Natural – Bamboo straws are RM5, whereas the metal straws are priced at RM7. Cleaning brushes cost RM8 each.

PS: While we’re on the topic, here are six easy habits you can cultivate for the better of our environment! Let’s all be #betterhumans!

[Source 1, 2, 3]