The Invention Design Behind The Reinvention of Straws

The Reinvention of Straws: From Plastic to Bamboo, Steel, and Glass

There are tons of products that we use often – even daily – without thinking twice about them. One of these products is the straw. We use it to sip and stir our beverages, and it’s literally been found in homes and restaurants around the globe for decades.

However, recently, environmentalists have been raising awareness of the detrimental impact plastic straws have on our natural environments, leading designers to rethink the invention design of a product that has enduringly existed and been widely used.

Why are straws so bad?

More than 500 million plastic straws are used each day worldwide. Since straws are too small to be recycled, they end up in the garbage, which can often lead to the ocean. They’ve been labelled as one of the world’s worst plastic items from both an environmental and toxic chemicals perspective, are one of the top polluters on our beaches, and pose great dangers to animals. It’s evident that the usage and design of straws need to be rethought.

Reinventing a Dated Product: Invention Design for A Better Straw

With recent public information about straws’ harmfulness, we’re seeing brands and businesses take immediate action. Toronto bars and restaurants, for example, have begun to pledge to eliminate straws from their venues, and we’re many others are following suit.

However, the use of straws and the habit of using a straw is not something that you just take away from the human population after decades of using them. It’s evident that creators and innovators need to rethink this ancient invention design, and we’re seeing so many people do just that.

The invention design of an old product - the straw updated with bamboo material to be eco-friendly.

Bamboo straws.

Here are a few alternatives that we’ve seen hit the marketplace:

  1. Bamboo straws by Brush With Bamboo are reusable and made without any chemicals or dyes.
  2. Paper straws are a single-use alternative for restaurants and bars that can (in some instances) be biodegradable.
  3. Steel straws have grown in popularity, are reusable, easy to clean, and be easily thrown in a purse or bag and brought along with you.
  4. Glass straws like the Bent Straw by BeOrganic are environmentally friendly, and the company supports local plastic clean-up efforts in Bali.

Lastly, people aren’t just looking at straw alternatives, they’re also looking at an invention design that helps make drinking with a straw not as necessary like beverage cups and lids from places like Starbucks that eliminate the need for a straw.

MAKO can’t wait to continue to see how inventors shake up the dated straw industry to create innovative products and new invention designs that help save our world!

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!

1 Comment

  1. andy

    June 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Disrupting old products and systems is what it’s all about.

    We work a lot with young inventors and startups, typically introducing new products to the market.
    But I know plenty of ‘jobbing’ innovators who make a very good living doing work just like this – taking everyday products and making them better.

    The straws issue is special, because it’s had a lot of publicity, but the same principle applies on countless other products in need of a re-think.


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