A Brief History of the Straw
The straw as we know it today made its first appearance about 7,000 years ago. Tomb frescoes of the Sumer civilization—arguably one of the first civilizations of the world—depict social elites of the day drinking beer with long, hollow sticks. Subsequently, drinking tubes made of metal and precious stones have been discovered in the tombs. Miles away in ancient China, people in the Northern Wei Dynasty (300-500 AD) also used the hollow stalks of plants to make straws for drinking wine.
In the 16th century, South Americans began using a special straw, the bombilla, to drink yerba mate, a tea infusion that contained so many shreds of leaves and stalks that they devised a tube of silver or bronze with a filter at the end to strain the solids. The bombilla is still widely used today.
Damage to the Environment
As non-biodegradable plastic straws are being phased out, alternative options have risen to the fore. Among these are products like the bamboo straw made by Brush With Bamboo and Strawesome’s straws made of glass.
Major companies like WeWork have stocked offices nationwide with metal straws. These are affordable, chic and, most importantly, reusable options that reduce dependency on single-use plastics. Like California, Hyatt hotels are only offering plastic straws by request, and Hilton hotels has banned plastic straws in over 600 of their properties, offering paper straws in its place.
This article written by Joe Chan and translated by Vincent Leung first appeared on the MICHELIN Guide digital platform. Click here to read the original version of this story.
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