Drinking Straw Day is celebrated on January 3 every year, the day Marvin Chester was awarded a patent for his innovation, i.e., the paper drinking straw. Imagine a world without straws. Sounds horrible, right? We often don’t realize this, but drinking straws have made our lives a lot easier, allowing us access to the bottom of the juice jar first, where all the good stuff lies. Drinking with a straw is much less messy, and we can take our time sipping leisurely.
History of Drinking Straw Day
The earliest form of straws was used by Ancient Sumerians almost 5,000 years ago. They submerged long and thin metallic tubes into big jars for brewing beer. The tube passed through the fermentation layers and went down to access the liquor at the bottom. These tubes brought the liquid upwards and into the mouth of the Sumerians.
In 1888, Marvin Stone, originally a paper cigarette holder manufacturer, became the first person to file for a drinking straw patent. Before the paper straw, there was the rye straw, and one day, while drinking a mint julep during a summer day, Stone didn’t like the aftertaste of the rye. He also noticed that the straw was beginning to disintegrate because of the liquid. This led him to think of designing a better straw. Stone started by wrapping strips of paper around a pencil and stuck them to it. He realized that these makeshift straws didn’t leave a grassy aftertaste and didn’t disintegrate easily, unlike the rye. Once the design was patented by 1890, his factory Stone Industrial began the commercial production of paper straws.
In the 1930s, bendable straws were invented by Joseph Friedman. Friedman used to watch his daughter struggle to drink her milkshake using the paper straw, so he came up with the bendable straw, in 1937, by adding a screw in the middle to make the straw easy to turn and adjust without breaking. By the 1960s, with the rise of fast food industries, plastic replaced paper because the cost of mass-producing plastic drinking straws was much lower.
The history, origin, and founder of Drinking Straw Day are widely unknown.
Drinking Straw Day timeline
Ancient Sumerians use thin, long, metallic tubes to brew beer.
Stone files for a paper drinking straw patent after disliking the rye straw aftertaste.
Joseph Friedman files for a bendable straw patent after watching his daughter struggle to drink with a straight paper straw.
With the rise of the fast-food industry, the paper drinking straw is replaced by the low-cost plastic straw.
Drinking Straw Day FAQs
What are the benefits of drinking from a straw?
Straws help reduce tooth discoloration because it doesn’t let the drink affect your teeth directly. It also helps hospital patients ingest food easily.
Why is it easier to drink water with a straw?
Straw makes drinking easier. You also are more likely to swallow a larger quantity of water using a straw.
Is drinking through a straw bad for your stomach?
Yes. It introduces air into the digestive tract, which causes bloating, gas, and so on. Also, most plastic straws are made from polypropylene which is made from petroleum. When mixed with liquids or exposed to heat or U.V. light, it could affect estrogen levels.
How to Celebrate Drinking Straw Day
Switch to eco-friendly straws
Plastic straws are harmful to the environment. Switch to more eco-friendly materials like paper or metallic straws.
Design your own straw
Let Marvin Stone be your DIY guru. Use him as an inspiration to design your own recyclable straw! It doesn’t hurt to try.
Use this day to spread awareness about how dangerous plastic straws are in the long run. Go on your social media platforms and start with your followers. Don't forget to add #DrinkingStrawDay.
5 Facts About Drinking Straws
The oldest drinking straw was very expensive
Discovered in a Sumerian tomb from roughly 3,000 B.C., the straw was made of gold and the precious stone, lapis lazuli.
Bombilla — the multipurpose straw
The Argentines use this special metallic straw to sieve and drink mate tea.
Straws are in high demand
In the U.S. alone, up to 500 million drinking straws are used every day.
Plastic straws harm marine life
These straws contribute to plastic debris across the globe and destroy several marine ecosystems.
Straws recycled into bags
In Uganda, drinking straws are recycled, and the material is woven to make bags.
Why We Celebrate Drinking Straw Day
To rethink the alternative resources
This day reminds us to be mindful of the materials we are using in large quantities. It is important to use eco-friendly resources.
To examine how it affects our environment
Our actions and choices today will determine the world of tomorrow. This is an important day to reevaluate our choices.
Drinking is easy with straws
Using straws makes drinking effortless, less messy, and very fun. We should all carry our personal straws around on this day.
Drinking Straw Day dates