Ice Straw fights plastic problem and keeps drinks cool at the same time
Plastic straws have become the poster child of waste lately, and most alternatives have their own issues. Now, a start-up called The Ice Guys is crowdfunding an intriguing solution that fights the plastic straw boogeyman and keeps your drinks cool at the same time – the Ice Straw.
While they’re far from the only villains in the story, plastic straws are the epitome of wasteful single-use plastics. They’re only ever used for a few minutes before being discarded to spend the next thousand years in landfill or the ocean, where they can harm wildlife. In recent years, such single-use plastics have been banned by jurisdictions like the European Union and Canada, with corporate giants like Nestlé and McDonald’s pledging to soon phase them out entirely.
There’s no shortage of alternative materials, like stainless steel, aluminum and silicone, but they can be hard to clean, affect the taste of the drink, or in the case of paper straws, get soggy and gross within minutes.
Enter the Ice Guys, who have now come up with a solution so simple it’s hard to believe no one else has thought of it before – make the straws out of ice. The unimaginatively named Ice Straws last just long enough to finish your drink before leaving zero waste, with the added benefit of cooling it, too.
The product is essentially a silicone mold that can be filled with water and frozen in 30 to 45 minutes, before being squeezed out of the mold ready to use. They come in three different sizes for different types of drinks – the Classic measures 220 mm (8.7 in) long with a 5-mm (0.2-in) diameter hole. The Cocktail has the same hole width but only measures 140 mm (5.5 in) long, for drinking out of shorter cocktail glasses. And the Boba is a thicker version of the Classic with a 12-mm-wide (0.5-in) hole, for slurping up the pearls of a bubble tea.
While we might worry about running out of Ice Straws quickly, the Ice Guys says that you can prefreeze a few, take them out of the mold and keep them in the freezer, ready for 5 o’clock to roll round. And they don’t always have to be made of water ice either – you could try making straw out of juice, soft drink or whatever else takes your fancy.
Of course, we have a few questions about the practicality of the Ice Straws. How much time are people going to want to put into making their straws every time they want a drink? Will they melt before you can get through your drink? How much might they crack and leak? Is the cold unpleasant on your fingers or lips?
It’s hard to know if it’s worthwhile without getting our hands on some, but at the very least it’s an intriguing idea. Existing “ice straws” can be found on Amazon, etc, but they seem to still use a silicone tube in the center, so the cleaning issue remains.
The Ice Guys are currently seeking funding for the Ice Straw on Kickstarter, where it’s already raised over seven times the modest US$5,000 goal with over a month remaining on the campaign. Pledges start at $19 for a single mold in any of the three sizes, or $39 for a triple pack. If all goes to plan, shipping should begin in May 2023, just in time for the Northern Hemisphere summer.
Check out the Ice Straw in action in the video below.