Our company has a patent-pending filing for the world first’s retractable, reusable straw that would allow users to open up and thoroughly clean the inside of the straw without the need for a secondary brush. This would help reduce/eliminate bacteria and germ build up, and hence, also allowing users to expand usage of their straw bottles to contain other liquids other than just water. This straw will act as a green, economical, and practical alternative to the existing replacement straws out in the market today, and to also the half a billion disposable straws that we go through every day in just the U.S. alone!
Background of the invention:
There isn’t a straw available in the market today that allows users to fully expose the inside for cleaning purposes. Current straws are usually cleaned by either running warm water through the 2 openings at each end of the straw, or by using a separate, specialized straw brush cleaner. Both methods are either ineffective or cumbersome to get a thorough cleanse, and hence, leaves residue and bacteria that could develop into mold. For this reason, straw bottles – which are mainly designed for kid’s bottles – and tumblers, are used typically to hold just water versus juices, milk, and other recreational drinks. This limits the use of the bottles, causing unnecessary replacement of the straws, unnecessary replacement of the bottles,and can trigger a hazardous health event if their straws become unmaintained and too dirty. As a Mom, I’ve found it virtually impossible to pack my kids anything but disposable juice boxes/pouches or just water in their school lunch.
Besides the economic and practical implication to this straw, there is also very much an environmental factor that comes into play here. It’s been reported that we go through 500 million plastic straws every day in the US. These straws are not decomposable, hence, they contribute to increased tonnage in our landfills which is poor for our environment. Furthermore, because of their lightweight, many do get picked up by the slightest wind and into the ocean, endangering marine lives who mistake them for food. They have been, for example, found wedged in the nose of a sea turtle. There have been a number of organizations (i.e. Be Straw Free, Marine Conservation Society, Final Straw) actively working on bringing awareness to this issue, including successfully boycotting restaurants offering plastic straws in a number of states.