How to Reduce Waste from Plastic Coffee Stir Sticks

The waste associated with plastic coffee stir sticks may seem inconsequential until you consider that 138 billion are thrown away every year. For a greener cup of coffee, put the cream and sugar in your cup first, then pour in the coffee. If it still needs stirring, use a long piece of pasta instead.


A lot of people are committed to Thinking Green, but I think the man who really put it on the map was Dr. Seuss. I mean, who hasn’t heard of Green Eggs and Ham? Even Sam I Am became a green convert! Well, I’d like to take it to the next level. Here’s a simple way to make your coffee green. Stop using stir sticks. Ok, I know that sounds petty, but would you believe that Americans throw away 138 BILLION coffee stirrers every year? That’s a lot of plastic, but the solution isn’t having to drink your coffee black. If you use cream and sugar, put it in the cup first and then pour in your coffee. That should be enough to mix it in. But if you absolutely, positively have GOT to stir, use this little trick. Take a piece of pasta and stir your java with that. Afterwards, you can eat the stick or even add it to your compost…and you can drink your coffee on a plane or on a train, on a boat or with a goat…..


  1. spoons! If no one licks the spoon it can be used many times. You could put out a handful of spoons every day and stick them in a dishwasher at night.

    I bought wood stirrers, once used up will go to spoons. Meanwhile what do I do with about 1000 plastic coffee stirrers? Don’t want to put them out for coffee just to use them up because this sends wrong message. Any ideas welcome.

    • Hi, Carolyn!

      Thanks for caring about the environment so much. 🙂 We’re opening this question to the community.

      Any ideas, y’all?

  3. What kind of plastic are stir sticks made of? Some plastic, like #2 and #5 are recyclable but others not. The packages of these things are usually not labeled. There many crafts you can use the straws for but then, there’s still all this toxic stuff in the environment.
    I agree with one of the above comments, what’s wrong with spoons?!

  4. We have containers of plastic stir sticks here at work. How do we safely dispose of them so we can replace them with bamboo wood stirrers?


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