Comparison of drinking straws for Hospitality

April 14, 2020 6 min read

There are now many different alternatives to plastic straws: disposable and reusable , from paper above metal up to Glass . But what is actually best for your bar, restaurant, café or hotel?

Choosing can get tough here, so we have all important criteria in the field of Hospitality.


Table of Contents

Why disposable straws are not worth it

There are more and more alternatives to the environmentally harmful and soon to be banned plastic drinking straw on the market. Some of them are already much more sustainable than the plastic version, such as edible drinking straws made from fruit fibers. However, there are numerous other arguments against this alternative when it comes to use in Hospitality . Other variants are paper, pasta or straw. However, all disposable straws have several disadvantages in common:

  • They are not tasteless
  • They soften and often dissolve in the drink after a while
  • They are usually not suitable for hot drinks
  • They have to be produced in large quantities, which results in high resource consumption
  • They create a lot of garbage

Also, they are all very expensive in the long run!

A restaurateur needed in our sample calculation 200 drinking straws a day , Has Open 25 days a month , 12 months long . He has approx 100 seats . So he needs 60000 drinking straws a year .

Straw cost overview

What are the advantages and disadvantages of reusable straws??

There are numerous alternatives that can be used more than once, such as  stainless steel or glass. Since it has been shown above that Disposable drinking straws are not a sensible alternative for restaurateurs are, we want to go into more detail about the reusable drinking straws.

metal straw

Edelstahl strohhalm metall trinkhalme mehrweg vergleich

Arguably the greatest benefit of metal straws is theirs longevity and breakage resistance . Besides, they are BPA free and mostly too dishwasher safe . However, metal straws are not tasteless, since they usually have a metallic aftertaste. This creates a taste-changing interaction between the drink and the metal drinking straw. the sharp edges create an unpleasant feeling in the mouth and can lead to injuries to teeth and the palate. Furthermore, metal is conductive heat further, which means that metal drinking straws heat up particularly quickly when used in hot drinks, which in turn can cause burns. Hygiene plays an extremely important role in Hospitality , which is why the lack of transparency of metal straws is a big problem. Customers cannot tell if the metal straw is really clean inside, which discourages them from actually using it.

Advantages of metal:

  • reusable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • BPA free
  • Shatterproof

Disadvantages metal :

  • Not tasteless
  • Not transparent, cleanliness is not apparent
  • Sharp edged
  • Transfers heat quickly
  • Recycling is only possible at special recycling centers
  • Unpleasant mouthfeel


bamboo straw

Bamboo straws are relatively robust and stable. They are a very eco-friendly option compared to materials like plastic. Bamboo is a rapidly regrowing Raw material that is also compostable. Nevertheless he is not infinitely available and this resource should therefore also be used with caution. Add to that bamboo from Asian countries transported to Germany must be, whereby this long transport route is not gentle on the environment. Due to the naturalness, bamboo straws are initially harmless to health and do not contain any chemical substances such as BPA. However, the hygiene in spite of all not 100% guaranteed , as the drinking straws cannot be cleaned with hot water. During the rinsing process, they can become deformed and over time absorb liquid and bacteria on. Therefore, their shelf life is very limited. However, bamboo drinking straws are out of the question for Hospitality :

Since sheNot HACCP-compliant, they may not be used in the catering sector.

Benefits of bamboo:

  • Shatterproof
  • Reusable for a specific time
  • Compostable

Disadvantages bamboo :

  • Not tasteless
  • Not transparent, cleanliness is not apparent
  • Not hygienic
  • Can be used for a maximum of 6 months
  • Limited dishwasher safe
  • Not HACCP compliant


glass straw

Glass Straws can most sustainable and best alternative for plastic straws and also other alternatives for the Hospitality if the right glass is used. Because glass is the only material that absolute taste neutrality guaranteed. This means that the taste is not contaminated and there is no interaction between the drinking straw and the drink. This creates the best taste experience for the customer. Reusable glass straws are also available no risk to health , since you dishwasher safe and thus heat resistant are. The smooth surface and the transparency of the drinking straws makes them most hygienic option . The glass drinking straws are cleaned as usual simply in the cutlery basket of the glass or dishwasher . In addition, the customer can see for himself that the drinking straw is clean, which creates an absolutely positive drinking experience.

Advantages of glass:

  • reusable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Tasteless
  • Hygienic
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Heavy metal, lead and BPA free
  • Recyclable
  • Engravable
  • Cost-effective in the long run

Disadvantages of glass:

  • Not 100% shatterproof
  • In contrast to HALM glass, not every type of glass is 100% recyclable

how expensive are they?

A restaurateur in our sample calculation also has 100 seats , and has Open for 12 months . Therefore, at the same time he only needs a maximum 100 drinking straws , but also has when purchasing 200 drinking straws enough buffer while the remaining stalks are cleaned up. So he needs theoretically 200 drinking straws a year .

Unfortunately, restaurateurs know this all too well: Whether salt shakers, glasses or cutlery, one or the other item disappears after a few months. As with other catering equipment, a monthly loss rate should therefore be taken into account for reusable products such as drinking straws. With our restaurateurs, this is in the average at 5% per month, that means about 10 drinking straws per month.

It is clearly evident that reusable drinking straws offer a massive price advantage over single-use alternatives, despite higher one-time costs and potential shrinkage. By using reusable drinking straws you save every year 1,000-3,000 compared to disposable alternativesn .

>But the reusable alternatives also differ in terms of their durability. If you compare metal and glass directly with each other, you will notice that the advantages of glass predominate since this tasteless and transparent is. The only advantage of metal over glass is that it is more break-resistant. The perfect drinking straw for Hospitality is therefore a Glass straw, which nevertheless has a high breakage resistance. In the following we want to take a closer look at the quality aspect of glass drinking straws.

What distinguishes high-quality Glass Straws?

Glass is not just glass and there are significant differences in quality. The stability and thus the resistance to breakage depends heavily on the glass used. Therefore, when choosing glass drinking straws, it is important to look for high-quality, pure glass be respected. Glass drinking straws are only safe when they are out of the correct material are manufactured and processed professionally. Poorly processed glass drinking straws harbor dangers: The mouthpiece can splinter or the drinking straws can break during the rinsing process due to residual tension.


The comparison in a nutshell

The quality of the glass is also crucial for the recycling process should a drinking straw ever break. Because not every glass can be fully recycled. There are many Glass drinking straws made of borosilicate glass that cannot be recycled and therefore cannot be disposed of in the glass recycling container. It is then simply hazardous waste that must be disposed of in the black bin. There can be no question of sustainability here. So in order to be able to add glass back into the cycle, it has to be made of the right material.

For these reasons, HALM its stable and qualitative high-quality glass 100% made in Germany. This is the only way we have full control over the manufacturing process. Our HACCP -compliant glass Glass Straws are made of a thick-walled glass which is too 100% recyclable is. The result: With HALM the most stable, noblest and most sustainable Glass straw in the market.

Disposable drinking straws perform very poorly for financial reasons alone. At least you can with reusable drinking straws Save 1,000 a year.

Reusable drinking straws have similar price levels. The decisive question is which material is best suited in terms of quality.


There are many different alternatives on the market and one should generally consider the sustainable variants prefer to plastic. Disposable items are not an option due to their permanent resource consumption. They are also cut out from the shortlist because Disposable Straws up to 5,000 per year more expensiver are as reusable alternatives.

However, even reusable drinking straws often have hygienic and taste disadvantages: The cleanliness from metal or Bamboo straws cannot be recognized immediately. Metal conducts heat, silicon attracts dust and bamboo wood absorbs water and bacteria and is not HACCP compliant.

For Hospitality are therefore Glass Straws  the best solution as long as they are of good quality, i.e. stable and recyclable. They are tasteless, do not conduct heat and are easy to clean in the dishwasher. Their transparency also makes them elegant and aesthetic.

Have we convinced you? Then feel free to test our drinking straws!!