Now that you’re sipping boba through a glass or plastic straw, you need somewhere to keep that vital tool safe and clean. In other words, you need a gorgeous straw pouch!
Across the West, cities are banning disposable plastic straws—and that’s launched a wave of new, reusable products to compensate, beginning with straws made of metal, glass, and bamboo. A few months ago, I hopped on that bandwagon, acquiring a set of pretty reusable glass straws in pink, orange, green, and blue from Orange County–based Simply Straws. I was excited to stop wasting an average of 1.6 straws per day (584 a year!).
But there was a hitch: I had nothing to wrap them in. So I grabbed a pair of dish towels and wrapped them around my glass straws, throwing them into the smallest compartment of my backpack in the hope they’d survive my rough-and-tumble outdoorsy life of heading to the coffeeshop every day.
While walking to my coffeeshop, I heard them jangle into each other. I always carry a regular straw and a boba-size straw, and they weren’t being adequately swaddled by the dishcloths. I was afraid they’d break if I threw my backpack down or heaped books on top. Also, I had no way of cleaning my straws, which hit home when one straw mucked up my dishtowels after I’d had a strawberry boba latte from Boba Guys. The straws also gathered dust or debris from the inside of my backpack. So I started researching—and discovered the straw pouch, the newest addition to the post-plastic economy.
Already, there are a variety of different styles: More fragile straws, like glass or bamboo, need a padded case, while nearly indestructible metal straws just need to be kept clean. For those who don’t carry a purse or bag, the most convenient cases can be attached to your belt loop or carabiner like a holster.
A couple of tips: Always match the length and width of your holders and cleaners to your straws, and try to rinse or clean your straws before sticky substances like lattes or smoothies dry on the interior, where they’re harder to remove without a pipe cleaner or brush.
Here are the holsters we’d sling with pride:
For the Aesthete
Simply Straws is the gold standard for reusable glass straws, building their beauties in regular and boba sizes, and crafting them out of strong borosilicate glass (a.k.a. Pyrex). You don’t get that metal taste, and the color selections are pretty. Still, anything that’s glass can break, so the company offers a lifetime guarantee. In the meantime, you can pop them into their hemp and flax holders, which accommodate one to six straws. The company also produces pretty gold and rose gold metal straw sets perfect for party favors, and recently collaborated with National Geographic on its “Planet or Plastic” campaign to produce special sets with straws and cleaners.
For the Picky Personalizer
This Etsy seller peddles cute padded holsters for one, two, three, and five straws in an array of quirky, colorful patterns. Choose your length and fabric, and Margreta will personally customize the straw holder for you; she’ll even do custom lengths. These holders work perfectly for more fragile glass or bamboo straws because they’re padded, and the compartments are large enough to fit glass boba straws.
For the Lunchboxer
The straw holsters in this Etsy store have great fabric varieties and lengths, but since they’re thinner, these holsters work better for durable metal straws, or as an addition to slip inside your lunchbox. A variety of cute succulent and pet patterns cater to a laidback West Coast aesthetic.
For the Frugal
For the Ecosaver
Want everything in one set? You can opt for a BPA-free, lead-free, 8.5-inch stainless-steel straw and brush cleaner to come with this straw holster. Or go big with the whole shebang, the “Ultimate Bundle” of eco-hipness: reusable straw, straw holster, straw cleaner, snack pouch, and sandwich wrap.
For the Monogrammer
Need your stuff monogrammed? That might stop those straw bandits from nabbing your pretty straw holster, but it’ll cost you a little extra.
For the Compulsive Cleaner
You’re eco, sure, but cleaning is such a drag, isn’t it? This holster makes it easy with a lining you can use to wipe down your straws so they don’t turn the pouch into a breeding ground for bacteria.
For the Asian-Food Lover
Beego makes cute snapping holsters that also happen to be waterproof, and they’re perfect for chopsticks, too. You can get this pouch with a brush and straw set, a pair of chopsticks, or all of the above in one single set.
For Nineties Kids
A unicorn a day keeps the doctor away. This machine-washable, food-safe, BPA-free pouch is good for shorter metal straws and gives you those Lisa Frank vibes you’ve been craving.
Keep It Clean
This straw brush set ($4.99) has both regular and smoothie straw sizes. It’s a worthwhile investment considering you won’t always have access to a sink where you can rinse your straws after drinking a smoothie, and the inside will be hard to clean once the straw dries.