Your favorite beach shakes and highland cocktails come with plastic straws, and we can't blame you if you absent-mindedly sip through themit's been a habit we've all had for decades, and one which we need to break. 

Plastic straws and single-use containers add to the pollution found in our seas. Facebook user Mark Roa shared his frustration at the garbage left by the influx of tourists in Siargao Island. He says, “To those irresponsible travelers who leave their trash in this island paradise, SHAME ON YOU! Is it really hard to dispose [of] your garbage properly? Start with yourself and influence your mates, too.”

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Now is the time to clean up our act. Start small by refusing to use a plastic straw. According to the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup Report of the Ocean Conservancy group, straws and stirrers are among the top 10 items collected by their volunteers in beach cleanups all over the world. It poses a real danger to animals like sea turtles, albatross, and fish who can eat them, according to the Ocean Conservancy website.

If you love your straws, switch to metal straws that you can bring anywhere. Choose those that are made with food-grade stainless steel — these are reusable, will not affect the taste or flavor of your drinks, and are BPA-free (Bisphenol A is a common industrial chemical used in plastics). Here’s where you can buy them:

GoZero

P50 - P120 a set

GoZero has straight/bent (P50) and milk tea straws (P75) that come with brushes. Make bringing it around easier by getting the Tikog pouch (P50), which is sustainably-sourced from Leyte. It's "made out of tikog grass, harvested and handwoven by locals," and can fit up to five straws. (Looking to take it to the next level? They also have bamboo brushes!)

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Pumplepie Books & Happiness

P190 - P240 a set

Apart from children’s books, this online bookstore also carries steel straws! Each set comes with two straws (bent or straight) and a cleaning brush. It also has a canvas pouch, so it’s easy to slip inside bags.

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Sip PH

P120 - P550 a set

The company started out as a meet-up based business selling metal straws to university students and has now become a thriving online store. Apart from two straws and the cleaning brush, its Burrito set (P500) comes with bamboo chopsticks, spoon, fork, and knife. It’s conveniently packed in a canvas wrap—perfect for travel! 

It also carries steel straws in Black and Rose Gold at P250/steel straw! If you want something both pretty and functional, this is for you. It comes with one classic (bent) and milk tea (straight) straw, a cleaning brush, and a canvas pouch. 

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This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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