Wholesale Paper Straws – Bon Appetit Management’s Move to Sustainability

Bon Appétit Management, a sustainable food-service company, is buying wholesale paper straws.  The restaurant group boasts eateries at major U.S. college campuses, museums and other institutions and is banning plastic straws, at 1,000 locations in 33 states.  With the plastic bans comes wholesale paper straws in it’s wake.  The plastic ban will be complete by September 2019. As an alternative to plastic straws, this food-service company will offer paper straws.

Plastic straws have become an issue because they can foul beaches or waterways and, in most cases, aren’t really necessary for drinking. Americans use an estimated 500 million disposable plastic straws every day, according to Eco-Cycle, a Boulder, Colo.-based non-profit recycler.  While that fact is disputed, the number of straws showing up on beach shores and water ways is not.  It’s much easier to curb plastic’s half live by simply pivoting to paper straws which deteriorate within 90 days. For this reason, many restaurant groups are buying wholesale paper straws.

McDonald’s is testing paper straws in the United Kingdom and putting plastic ones behind the counter, available only upon request. Other industries are taking now as well, including the airlines. However, shareholders of the Oak Brook, Ill. based burger chain voted against a proposal that called on the company to study the business risks of using plastic straws.   Though not everyone has made the switch, the conversation is alive and well for a larger effort industry wide to get ahead of a cultural climate that values sustainability over comfortably.

Bon Appétit, based in Palo Alto, Calif., bought 16.8 million plastic straws and close to 420,000 plastic stirrers in its fiscal year ended Aug. 31. This is seen as another eco-friendly effort by private company’s to take tangible actions in curbing their carbon footprint. Environmental friendly partnerships between food-service companies and public sectors are growing as single use plastic consumption is increasingly seen as taboo.  Pivoting towards wholesale paper straws, is a first productive step in this effort.

Bon Appétit’s CEO, Fedele Bauccio added that the new straws are made of compostable cardboard-like material that doesn’t become mushy, the common complaint about paper straws. The company, currently deciding between two suppliers, knows either version will be more expensive than plastic ones but won’t pass the cost along to customers. “We want to do the right thing for the environment,” Bauccio said. “Hopefully, this will spark other people in the industry to follow. … We are a large company and can set an example.  For this reason, they will be purchasing wholesale paper straws in the immediate future for their clients.


New York Bars Search for Cocktail Paper Straws

Cocktail Paper straws are seemingly more rare and valuable than gold right now in New York.  Plastic straws are being dumped so speedily that eco-friendly replacements have grown hard to come by. Bans are already affecting top New York cocktail spots. One of the city’s splashiest new drinking establishments is The Polynesian.  They boast a wide variety of playful cocktail straws in there drinks. Since the bar’s menu features colorful, ambitious drinks like the rum-infused Exotica Bowl, served in a giant clam shell, the staff faced an unexpected challenge – finding exciting, durable paper straws for cocktails. When they did find straws – they confronted a 3 month wait for order times.  It’s a shame they didn’t hear about OKSTRAW™ and our variety of tri-color print designs sooner!

Another new bar looking for cocktail paper straws and eschewing plastic straws is The 18th Room. This swanky city spot features a sustainable cocktail program; spent citrus rinds, for instance, are later incorporated into shrub drinks. They have also been on the hunt for cocktail paper straws. However they also were met with a 120 day wait time for the eco-friendly alternative to plastics.  These wait times have been seen industry wide; however that hasn’t stopped other restaurants partnering with the cities to ban plastic straws and pursue cocktail paper straws, as seen here.  

One of the relatively early adopters to the plastic straw ban is Porchlight, the Southern-inspired bar in Hudson Yards, from the Union Square Hospitality Group. Director Mark Maynard-Parisi was inspired by Trash Tiki, a no-waste drinks movement that stages pop-ups around the world, mixing cocktails with such products as cordials distilled with discarded watermelon rinds.  This innovated endeavor also integrated cocktail paper straws, but alas, once they looked for a paper straw alternative – they were too expensive or too scarce. All of these highlights a landscape where paper straw inventory is rare at the moment, despite a sustainability effort by bars to ditch plastics and waste.