The drinking straw seems pretty simple and unassuming, but it's contributing to one of the most pressing environmental problems today. With millions of them used and discarded every day in the US alone, it's no wonder the little plastic pipes are piling up in the oceans. To help cut back on that, a start-up in Singapore is getting ready to launch the Chew, a reusable straw with a "chewable" rubber tip and a spin-dry mechanism.

Like some other reusable straws, the Chew is made of aluminum, but since that's not the nicest feeling on your lips or teeth, the tips are made of a soft food-grade silicone and come in four different patterns. The company apparently sees the rigidity of other reusable straws as a major barrier to straw-chewers everywhere, so is highlighting the chewability of these silicone tips as a major selling point.

Once your drinking is done, the Chew straw pulls apart into two pieces, and slides into a plastic carry case. That case has a "ring" at one end, for the sole purpose of being able to spin the thing on your finger. The idea there is to dry the straw off using centrifugal force, so it's ready to go several times during the day. For a more thorough clean, the team says the Chew straw should be rinsed out, and scrubbed with the included brush.

If you're not sure if you can be bothered switching over to bringing your own straw, you might not have a choice for much longer. Just last month the European Parliament voted in favor of a ban on single-use plastics, including straws, and in other parts of the world major companies like McDonald's are phasing them out and exploring alternatives. Reusable straws and coffee cups might be the way of the future, and there's definitely no shortage of options.

The Chew straw is now on Kickstarter, where it's surpassed its US$14,500 goal with a week remaining on the campaign. Pledges start at around $17 for one Chew straw or $25 for two, and if all goes to plan, they should be ready to ship next month.

Check out the campaign video below.

Source: Chew Inc

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