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California Plastic Waste Vote this 2020.

We know California plastic waste affects everyone here on the West Coast. People want change, but what happens when the politicians can’t seem to take action? Petitions go out, signatures come in, and the people exercise their right to vote. When it comes to reducing single-use plastics, we might see a reduction in California Plastic Waste.

 

A Bay Area waste hauler and several environmental groups are aiming to put target plastics reduction on the California ballot. Citing Sacramento’s failure to act, they hope voters choose to finally cut down on California’s plastic waste. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we know nothing wakes up politicians quite like a public referendum. 

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California Plastic Waste Bill Get’s A Third Vote  

This year, California’s plastic waste situation had the opportunity to pass bills to limit single-use plastics. The bills required manufacturers to take responsibility for plastics they produce. Manufacturers need to make fully recyclable or compostable materials, and limit single-use plastics. These two bills, however, failed to get the necessary votes, and died at the state capitol.

Solving The Single-Use Plastic Waste Problem

That’s where this new bill comes in, and it goes further than those two dead California plastic waste bills. Under the proposed bill, all plastic packaging and single-use foodware items must be recyclable or compostable by 2030. There will also be up to a 1 cent manufacturer fee for making plastic items and packaging. This fee goes to building composting and recycling facilities and to pay for beach cleanups. 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we like seeing legislation that both addresses single-use plastics and waste issues. A California plastic waste bill must have 623,212 signatures by April 2020, in order to be on the November ballot. Behind this ballot effort is Recology, a waste hauling company based in San Francisco. Recology focuses on sustainable waste management practices, and supporting this initiative demonstrates their corporate social responsibility. 

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Men Behind California’s Plastic Waste Problem!

OkStraw welcomes this initiative, here’s our warning to fellow Californians. If the initiative gets on the ballot, then get ready for a PR onslaught from plastic companies. Plastic industry lobbyist groups will try to kill a plastic recycling bill, just like they did in Sacramento. One of these lobbyist groups is Californians for Recycling and the Environment (CRE). 

During the debate in Sacramento, CRE warned that the two recycling bills would hurt Californians.  How?  By banning products like dog food and toothpaste. These were nothing but scare tactics. But the damage was done. Misinformed lawmakers feared backlash from their constituents and killed the bills. California residents need to know the truth about our plastic waste problem.  That’s why we are hear talking about it.

Paper Product Solution For a Sustainable California

Don’t believe the scary stories plastics companies tell you. This recycling bill will not take away your toothpaste nor your dog food. In fact, it will hold plastic companies accountable. This bill strikes at the heart of California’s plastic waste problem.  Healing our oceans starts here. Fighting climate change begins on a local level. Our fight against single-use plastics starts everyday with our choices.

Fortunately, there are great biodegradable alternatives to plastic are out there.  Indeed, our paper straws are one of these eco-friendly solutions.  By decomposing in 90 days, these products solve part of California’s plastic waste problem. So California, get to the polls, voice your support for recycling, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

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New Recycling Law for California in 2020

2020 welcomes new recycling laws in California. Starting January 1st, the State of California now requires certain restaurants to recycle their organic waste. Restaurants producing 2 cubic yards of organic waste weekly now need to recycle waste. California’s old recycling law required recycling waste at 4 cubic yards. So the new limit affects more businesses than ever.

Here at OkStraw Paper Straws, we think California’s push for new recycling laws is a necessary move. If we want to fight climate change and sustain food production, then we need organic recycling. So let’s unpack what changes the new recycling law brings and how it affects your business.

What Exactly is Organic Waste?

Some folks may not know what’s considered “organic waste”, so let’s clear up the confusion. Also called “green waste”, organic waste spans a list of different materials. For example, it includes uneaten food (organic or non-organic), landscape trimmings, grass, leaves, branches, and compostable paper.

Compostable paper includes food-soiled paper, and biodegradable paper. Since OkStraw Paper Straws are both compostable and biodegradable, they technically count as organic waste.  OkStraw helps businesses comply with the new recycling laws. Whether it’s a paper straw or paper to-go container, this organic waste needs to be recycled. Let’s limit your restaurant’s organic waste to two cubic yards every week.

Why Organic Waste Recycling is so Important

So we know what counts as organic waste, but why does California care so much about recycling it? California cares because organic waste recycling helps fight climate change. Refuse that decomposes in the landfill produces large amounts of methane. Methane is far more aggressive than CO2.  We want less emissions, not more.   As such, these new recycling laws ensure a safer decomposing process.  For example, organic waste recycling helps capture these methane emissions and lowers greenhouse gasses.

The other reason why this new recycling law is so important is its improvement to agriculture. Soil from organic waste is rich in nutrients, which helps farmers grow crops more efficiently. In fact, organic waste is an agricultural goldmine, so why let it rot away in a landfill? Seems like wasted money and potential, right? We think so, which is why we at OkStraw ensured that our paper straws are organically recyclable.


California’s Organic Recycling Goals

This new recycling law is the latest bill for the California state legislature. In In 2014, Governor Brown signed a bill into law, requiring a 50% reduction in organic disposal over 5 years. However, California didn’t meet its recycling goal. This recycling law ensures a more aggressive approach to the problem.

With more restaurants falling under the new recycling law, California is on its way to finally meeting this goal. But, there are exceptions to the law. These include places without local organic recyclers.  Additionally, it spares restaurants without the space for organic recycling containers. Ultimately, we at OkStraw Paper Straws want to see ALL organic waste in California get recycled.

Are Paper Straws Organically Recyclable?

Given this news about changes to California’s organic recycling law, we started thinking, “Are OkStraw paper straws organically recyclable?”. Well looking back, California considers compostable paper with food stains organically recyclable. OkStraw Paper Straws are certainly compostable, and they absorb whatever drink they were in. So it’s safe to say that YES, OkStraw paper straws can go in the organic recycling.

Not all paper straws are organically recyclable, though. Some paper straws have wax or even plastic linings, so they can’t be organically recycled. Whereas OkStraw organic paper straws have none of these strengtheners added. We only sustainably sourced paper, vegan-safe glues and food safe mineral oils in our paper straws.

Available in countless sizes, custom prints and in 3 or 4 ply, there’s an OkStraw paper straw for every California restaurant. From ADA-compliant paper bendy straws to bubble tea paper straws, we have them all. So to California restaurants out there, get 2020 in full swing, and join the Cause for Organic Recyclable Paper Straws!

Happy New Years from OkStraw Paper Straws

Looking Forward to 2020

Happy New Years from all of us at OkStraw Paper Straws! 2019’s coming to a close, the fireworks are getting prepared, and the drinks are coming in fast and strong. Before we hit 2020, let’s take a look back at all 2019 brought to us. 

2019 was a big year for OkStraw Paper Straws. From trade shows to all-new products, we hit the ground running, and never looked back. We donated thousands of dollars worth of paper straws to local food banks and volunteered to help out in the kitchen at Father Joe’s Village. We helped clean up plastic pollution throughout San Diego and plan to continue helping the community into 2020. So grab a drink and a paper straw, and reminisce for just a bit.

Check out our super popular Boba Paper Straws!
OkStraw paper straws - Western Foodservice expo 2019

Lots of Trade Shows in 2019

This year, OkStraw Paper Straws made several trade show debuts, and we hit it off big! March saw us at the International Foodservice & Restaurant Show in New York City, rubbing elbows with the big shots. Come May, we packed our windbreakers, and headed off to the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. 

 

By July, we packed our sunscreen, and jetted off to Orlando, where we attended the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show. August was another hot month for OkStraw, starting in New Orleans. We hit the Big Easy, and made our debut at the Louisiana Restaurant Show. 

We finished August at Western Food Expo in Los Angeles, establishing our reputation from coast to coast. We were even featured in Slate Magazine article, which was also pretty cool! 2019 was OkStraw’s national breakout year, and by golly is the jet lag kicking in!

Several Great New Paper Straw Products

This year saw a ton of new OkStraw paper straws to defeat those pesky plastic straws. Over the Summer, our paper spoon straws became a must have for any slushie drink. From there, we demonstrated our engineering abilities with our record-setting paper tiki straws. Completing this triumphant trio were our ADA-compliant paper bendy straws, delivering the final coup de grace to plastic straws. 

OkStraw also introduced more choices to our existing paper straws. New for 2019 are 4-ply options for our paper bubble tea straws, jumbo cocktail straws, and giant paper straws. So no matter what your needs are, there’s an OkStraw paper straw for you. We’re proud of what we brought to the market in 2019, and 2020’s also gonna be a blast!

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Let's Ring in the New Year!

So now that 2019’s under our belts, let’s grab 2020 by the horns! Next decade’s going to see new consumer trends, new environmental laws, and greater calls for environmental justice. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we’re up to any challenges that come our way. 

We love New Year’s resolutions, but we make them too hard. Well here’s a New Year’s resolution that’s easier than any you made before. Forget no junk food, or learning how to hula hoop. If you want to make the biggest difference and put in the least amount of effort, then switch to paper straws. It’s so easy that even Californians like us at OkStraw can do it!

Switching to paper straws isn’t just the easiest resolution ever, it also makes a HUGE difference. No more plastic straws means healthier oceans, less plastic waste, and a lower carbon footprint. So grab a drink and an OkStraw paper straw, watch the fireworks, and have an awesome New Year!

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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