San Diego Food Bank Receives Thanksgiving Paper Straw Donation from OkStraw

OkStraw Gives Back. An Eco-Friendly Donation to the San Diego Food Bank.

The San Diego Food Bank received a generous paper straw donation from OkStraw today.  Afterall, what do all things about Thanksgivings have in common? Everyone needs a paper straw, of course! Here at OkStraw, we created our own Thanksgiving tradition.  We ditched plastic and switched to paper straws. We hope our tradition becomes part of every Thanksgiving dinner. To honor this tradition, OkStraw donated over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank.

Thanksgiving Traditions – Mark them with Holiday Paper Straws

At OkStraw, Thanksgiving Traditions mark a part of our corporate culture. Perhaps Boba Tea is your Thanksgiving tradition? OkStraw offers 4-Ply Bubble Tea straws! Or maybe you love the NFL.  Shop for our Sports Paper Straws. No matter the reason, make our paper straws your newest Thanksgiving tradition.  We will honor your purchase with future donations to the San Diego Food Bank.

Food Waste and San Diego Food Bank Solutions

We often talk about changes we can make to live more sustainably.  For example, shopping with reusable bags.  Or, replace plastic with paper straws. What we often don’t talk about enough, however, is food waste. Uneaten food that goes to waste puts a huge burden on our planet.  In fact, it makes food insecurity worse. However, organizations like the Jacobs & Cushman North County Food Bank chapter are leading the charge against food waste.  They provide hunger relief to vulnerable people in San Diego county.

Food Waste be gone.  Distributing 28 million pounds of food in 2018 alone, and serving an average of 350,000 people in need each month, the Food Bank is the largest organization of its type in San Diego County. With 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children in San Diego County facing food insecurity, the San Diego Food Bank is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people. It is also a role model for sustainability, and the fight against food waste.

SD’s Food Bank is making a major local contribution toward the global fight against food waste.

Food waste is a significant threat to the health of our planet. Globally, an estimated $750 billion worth of food is wasted, and according to a study by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, food waste is responsible for 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. If the emissions resulting from food waste were a country, it would be the third largest contributor to climate change behind China and the United States.

Food waste is also causing serious harm to world nutrition. In 2015, more than 150 countries assembled at the United Nations to agree on the Sustainable Development Goals, with 2030 as the year to reach these goals. In order to meet the goal of meeting food security, the world must cut down its food waste by 50 percent.

The only food distribution center in the world with an LEED v4 accolade

San Diego Food Bank is also a role model for sustainability in the County. Thanks to 1,400 solar panels, the Food Bank’s 90 thousand foot warehouse is completely energy independent, significantly reducing its carbon footprint. With this energy saved, the food bank provided for families in need with an addition 600,000 meals each year.

The San Diego Food Bank also boasts an impressive composting machine that can separate food waste from plastic, paper and aluminum food packaging, which is sent to recycling. The Food Bank then sends this compost to nonprofit organizations that run community gardens. All of these green initiatives led to the bank’s acility being first and only building in the County to attain LEED v4 Gold Status certification, and the only food bank in the world with an LEED v4 accolade.

OkStraw Paper Straws is proud to be the latest local business to contribute to the San Diego Food Bank’s mission

Additionally, OkStraw donated over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank to show our thanks to the local community!

The San Diego Food Bank relies on donations from local individuals and businesses to provide residents with the necessary help. OkStraw is proud to continue contributing to their mission, by donating 100,000 biodegradable paper straws. This amounts to over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws, which will go to local community centers, churches and food drives. We at OkStraw Paper Straws are honored to contribute to San Diego Food Bank’s mission to end hunger in the County, and lead the fight for sustainability.

Holiday Straws to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Holiday straws are all the rage this fall with Thanksgiving approaching.  Holiday straws are a new Thanksgiving tradition at OkStraw.  Many of us picture Thanksgiving as that old cliché.  We are here to spice things up with seasonal paper straws.  Now let’s grab a drink, get our holiday paper straws ready and talk about Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving History – Plymouth to Liberia

So where does Thanksgiving History start? We usually consider the 1621 feast at Plymouth as the first in Thanksgiving history. European Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic to America. Many perished during a harsh Northeastern winter. An indigenous Pautuxet man named Squanto taught the surviving pilgrims how to grow crops.  Additionally, he taught how to fish the local waters. As a result of their success, a three-day feast was held.  This is considered the first Thanksgiving.  In 1863, President Lincoln made Thanksgiving History as he set the last Thursday of November as the official holiday.  Every president since kept the tradition.

Thanksgiving is also celebrated around the world. Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October. The Liberia in West Africa also celebrates Thanksgiving. So do the Caribbean countries St. Lucia and Grenada.  Be sure to grab your holiday straws if you are enjoying cocktails in the Caribbean.

Thanksgiving Paper Straws for every Culture

Thanksgiving paper straws are a new normal for the holiday everywhere!  In fact, many American states have their own unique regional dishes to couple with cute straws. Florida has key lime pies.  Perfect green stripe paper straws. Georgia’s famous for its pecan pies. Great for orange wave paper straws. And mushroom gravy  in Washington State?! We’ll stay away from that one. Hawai’ians use sweet Okinawan Purple Potatoes.  These pair perfectly with our purple stripe paper straws. Thanksgiving paper straws are more diverse than ever thanks to the people of America.  We at OkStraw Paper Straws love celebrating that.

OkStraw donated over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank to show our thanks to the local community!

Holiday Straws for Thanksgiving Dinner

So now we know, Thanksgiving is more diverse than we’d ever imagined. But what do all of these Thanksgivings have in common? Everyone needs a paper straw, of course! Here at OkStraw, we created our own Thanksgiving dinner tradition. We ditched the plastic and switched to paper straws. We want holiday straws become part of every Thanksgiving dinner. To Show our commitment to this goal, OkStraw donated over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank. From all of us at OkStraw, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and welcome to our Cause for Paper Straws!

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unilever corporate social responisibility okstraw paper straws

Unilever Plastic Ban Reduces Waste

Unilever and Eliminating Plastic Waste

A Unilever plastic ban is shaking the consumer goods market. Based out of the UK, Unilever is one of the world’s biggest consumer goods companies. In fact, it owns hundreds of brands.  As such, consumer calls for corporate social responsibility towards a Unilever Plastics Ban are growing.

Thankfully, Unilever is addressing its plastic life-cycle problem. In response to demands from young consumers, Unilever’s plastic ban will reduce it’s 700,000 tons of annual  plastic waste by half. Setting 2025 as its goal, Unilever will use more recycled plastic instead of virgin plastic. It also cuts down on plastic packaging.  It also cuts down on plastic packaging. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we’re excited to see one of the big guys embrace corporate social responsibility.

Plastic Life-cycle and Virgin Plastics

Plastic life-cycles vary based on their size. Large plastics kill marine animals. They break down into microplastics. Then, microplastics get into our oceans, ground, air. From there, micro-plastics can even get our bodies. This is scary! However, we can now harvest and recycle microplastics from the ocean. But there is more to do. That is why Unilever’s plastic ban sets a good example for corporate social responsibility.

New or “virgin” plastics are made from freshly extracted oil. Using virgin plastics adds to the current plastic levels and and contributes to climate change. Recycled plastic can reset the plastic life-cycle. Unilever’s plastic ban embraces recycled plastic. OkStraw acknowledges this as a step in the right direction.

Naked Packaging & Naked Products

In order to reduce its plastics usage, Unilever will roll out more “naked products”. Naked products do not use plastic packaging. Unnecessary plastic packing hurts the environment, so cutting it out is a welcome change.  Corporate socially responsibility with naked packaging is common. Cosmetics maker, Lush, as follow suit also with their products.

OkStraw Paper Straws practices naked packaging. We offer either naked or paper-wrapped straws. We also use biodegradable Kraft paper packaging. Naked products both cut out plastic waste and save money in packaging costs. We hope future efforts towards a Unilever plastics ban focuses more on the “naked” manufacturing process.

Unilever Plastic Ban

Unilever’s plastic ban is not perfect, but it is progress. Resetting a plastic’s life-cycle is critical and recycling is central to this. However, ending virgin plastic production fights climate change at it’s core. By embracing corporate social responsibility with Unilever’s plastic ban, we are one step closer towards a green planet.

Unilever is not alone in this fight. With the European Union phasing out single-use plastics by 2021, Unilever’s announcement couldn’t come sooner. We at OkStraw Paper Straws are excited to see a big corporation lead by example. While small businesses like OkStraw do our part to heal the planet, we need the big companies on board with us. So we invite Unilever to cut out plastic, embrace social responsibility and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

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New Method Recycles ALL Plastic Waste

New Method Recycles ALL Plastic Waste

By now, you’re probably well aware that there’s too much plastic waste littering our planet. There’s plastic in the ocean, plastic in the air, and even plastic in the soil. Clearly we don’t need any new plastic, so we need to recycle what’s here.

A research group in Sweden just discovered a new method of recycling plastics. What’s even more exciting is that this method can recycle all plastics. While we at OkStraw Paper Straws encourage switching to biodegradable alternatives, we’re excited to hear about this new plastic recycling method.

Too Much Plastics Already

Plastic waste is hurting our planet, and in more ways than we ever thought. Not only do plastic straws kill marine animals, but now microplastics in soil hurt earthworms, endangering food supplies. Clearly, we don’t need any more new plastics littering our planet, so let’s manage what’s already here. 

Corporations like Unilever are swearing off virgin plastics, and are halving their plastic usage. Whereas companies like OkStraw Paper Straws offer biodegradable alternatives to plastic. But what about reusing plastic waste? New approaches for microplastics harvesting like Ocean Cleanup show promise, but we need a serious step up in recycling.

A Game-Changing Method

Solving the plastic recycling issue now shows real promise, thanks to Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Professor Henrik Thunman and his research group experimented by heating up plastics, breaking them down into carbon atoms. Thunman’s group then captured these atoms, and rendered them back into new-quality plastic. 

The results from Chalmers research group are an eye opener. Not only does this method yield new plastic, but it also can recycle all forms of plastics. This means flimsy, non-recyclable items like plastic straws and bags can now be recycled using this method. While we at OkStraw Paper Straws believe people should transition away from plastic, these results show incredible promise.

A Win-Win Recycling Solution

This plastic recycling method shows great potential to fight plastic waste for two major reasons. Firstly, because this method yields new-quality plastics, so there’s even less reason to use virgin plastics. 

Secondly, since all plastics are recyclable, there’s a huge economic incentive for harvesting plastics, and against dumping them. As much as we detest plastics at OkStraw Paper Straws, this recycling method is one of the best ideas we’ve seen so far.

Responsible Plastic Recycling

Now make no mistake, we at OkStraw Paper Straws still believe people should switch from plastic to biodegradable alternatives. However, we do realize that the road to a plastic-free future is a long one that requires transitions. Therefore, we must do everything we can to recover plastic from the environment, and repurpose it responsibly. 

Responsible plastic repurposing to OkStraw Paper Straws means not making more plastic bags or plastic straws. Let’s only recycle plastic into items that aren’t single use, and switch to biodegradable alternatives for items that are. Switching to paper straws and paper foodware cuts down on plastic to recover, and energy to recycle it. So do your part, pass on those single-use plastics, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

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