A Glass Straw with a Difference

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Introduction

WiseSip is an eco-friendly brand based in the UK (near Newcastle) that are trying to make a difference in the world!

My name is Sam, I am the founder and product designer here at WiseSip.

I have loved design for as long as I can remember and studied it all the way through my education. I believe that we are all here to make a positive difference both to ourselves and to the people/world around us! I wanted to put my engineering knowledge to good use and tackle a real-world problem that seems to be getting worse and worse.

In a bid to try and eradicate harmful plastic straws, we began by designing handy stainless steel straw sets. Now, we have taken one step further and are pleased to introduce you to our newest, and perhaps most game-changing, reusable product: the ‘Ultimate Glass Straw Set’. But first, let’s take a quick look at this terrible plastic problem. 

The Problem

Image by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

The amount of plastic waste in our world is a growing concern. The damage that we are doing to our oceans and ecosystems is becoming irreparable and we are polluting them at a rate of around 12.7 million tonnes of plastic per year.

Once plastic reaches the sea it doesn’t simply sit there, causing no harm. Rather, around 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year at the hands of plastic and this figure is likely to rise unless we turn the tide on our plastic consumption.  

The ban on plastic straws and stirrers will hopefully reduce the amount of these single-use items entering the oceans, though the initiative has been delayed until later this year. However, although this is a step in the right direction, simply banning a small proportion of plastic items will most likely not be enough to stop plastic waste from reaching the ocean and damaging ecosystems. 

Sustainable Solutions

Eco-friendly materials including cork, glass, bamboo, hemp and jute are fantastic alternatives to plastic that we can all utilise more!

Cork is perhaps one of the most eco-friendly materials in the world, if it is harvested sustainably. The sustainable harvesting of cork does not harm the species which live in cork forests in any way, nor does it take away their home, since the cork grows back. Furthermore, when cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, not a single tree is cut down in the process.

In fact, an increased use of cork would lead to the growth of more cork trees, therefore providing more land for these species to live in!

Cork is therefore a great example of a material that supports a human-nature balanced system, and that’s why we have incorporated it into our new Ultimate Glass Straw Set! 

Image by Casey Horner on Unsplash

The Ultimate Glass Straw Set

Here at WiseSip we have designed a new, reusable drinking straw that pairs cork (sustainably harvested from living cork trees in Portugal) with perhaps the most eco-friendly man-made material ever, glass!

The straws in our ‘Ultimate Glass Straw Sets’ are made from a special type of glass called borosilicate glass. 

Borosilicate glass is not shatter-proof, as shatter-proof glass contains plastic, a material which we always endeavour to minimise. 

For this reason, we have paired our larger straw with a protective cork sleeve, therefore making your glass straws more durable and hardwearing!

Borosilicate Glass - a superior type of glass

Ultimate Glass Straw set by WiseSip

People have been using glass for over 5000 years, so it is fair to say that it has stood the test of time!

We chose borosilicate glass because it is:

  • Food-safe 
  • Dishwasher-safe 
  • Naturally abundant – easily acquirable materials & minimal impact on the environment
  • Chemically resistant (resistant to acids)
  • Suitable for hot or cold use –  extremely heat resistant. In fact, you could put this glass in the oven and then straight under cold water and it won’t shatter though I don’t recommend you do this… you might burn your hands!

 

Cork - sustainably sourced

The larger 12mm glass straw is the world’s first to harness the power of sustainable cork to protect the glass!

Our cork:

  • Sustainable – Sustainably harvested from living cork trees in Portugal
  • Up-cycled – Made using up-cycled waste from natural wine cork manufacturing
  • Supports nature – supports cork oak forests, therefore supporting the diverse wildlife that lives within them
  • Stops rattling against taller vessels – the cork sleeve dampens the sound of the glass against taller drinking vessels (you can see this in action below)

The Added Benefits of Sustainable Cork

1) Helps protect the Borosilicate Glass

One of the drawbacks of glass is that it can break easily when dropped. Should your straw be dropped, the cork sleeve will provide extra protection against breakage. (see the video)

2) Reduces 'Rattling' against taller cups

We noticed that other glass straws can make a loud rattling noise when people drink out of them – we wanted ours to reduce this! Our added cork sleeve helps to reduce this noise in taller glasses/cups.
(see the video)

Feedback from the customers that tried it:

Paula D

“I already have metal straws but I prefer the glass ones. The cork is great too – looks so good!”

Emma C

“I used the larger straw on the thickest smoothie I could make and it worked a treat!”

Andrea T

“Love the packaging – makes for a lovely gift and would be great if you could do personalised ones” <- we will be

WiseSip_Logo_Blue

The Ultimate Glass Straw set is now available here

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