Story highlights

The Starbucks straw ban has opened up the conversation on how to use less plastic

In honor of Plastic-Free July, here are eight items to shop

CNN —  

By now, you’ve probably heard about the Starbucks straw ban. Starbucks plans to rid its stores of all plastic straws by 2020. This is a huge move, since it means Starbucks will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year, according to the company.

Why the Starbucks straw ban matters

Plastic is a nonbiodegradable material, which means it never truly disintegrates. Instead, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces over time, which is not ideal for our planet and the environment.

For instance, Science magazine says an estimated 19 billion pounds of garbage enters the ocean each year. This, according to Huffington Post, is approximately 34 times the size of Manhattan, just to put things in perspective. To make matters worse, much of that waste either ends up causing harm to marine life or washing up on beaches.

The United Nations Environment Programme reports that there could be as many as 51 trillion microplastic particles in our seas. This number continues to grow as humans use plastic in many areas of daily life.

What can we do?

There are lots of alternatives to using regular ol’ plastic. At the very least, you can try sourcing products made of recycled plastic. That way, the plastic from water bottles and other products will be used more than once. To go a step further, we’d recommend buying products made of bamboo, recycled glass and other plastic-free materials that are far less harmful to the planet.

In fact, this month is Plastic-Free July, an effort to get people to refuse single-use plastic. If you’d like to join the challenge and start living plastic-free, we’ve got a whole list of awesome products that will reduce your impact on the environment and could seriously change up your daily routine for the better.

1. 100% recycled glass drinking cup (set of 2) ($14.99;

2. Glass straws (set of 4) (starting at $32;

3. To-Go Ware bamboo travel utensils ($12.95;

4. Soma water bottle with bamboo cap ($30;

5. Clear Barcelona vases ($24.99;

6. Joco 12-ounce glass reusable coffee cup ($27.95;

7. Pilot ballpoint pens made from recycled water bottles ($6.49;

8. Leafware palm leaf square plates ($9.99; -

9. Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer with Paperless Filter and Carafe ($32.87;


10. Modern Kitchen silicone food storage bags ($21.97;

11. Bee’s Wrap eco-friendly reusable food wrap ($18;

12. Organic Cotton Market ($15.89;

13. Stainless steel lunch container ($23.99;

More ways to live environmentally friendly:

7 simple swaps could help save the environment

Shop these eco-friendly beauty products

Why this eco-friendly shoe brand should be on your radar

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.