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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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Top Plastic Polluters in Canada

Top Plastic Polluters Responsible for Canadian Plastic Waste

Greenpeace Canada just named Neslté and Tim Hortons as the country’s top plastic polluters.  How did they conclude this? The NGO collected Canadian plastic waste from beaches.  Remarkably, 2019 marks the second year as the top plastic polluters in Canada.  Meanwhile, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola were also on Greenpeace’s list of five top plastic polluters.


Greenpeace Targets Top Plastic Polluters

Greenpeace ranked these top polluters based on branded items found  at beach cleanups. These cleanups are work with global Break Free from Plastic movement.  For instance, beach cleanups took place in Halifax, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Greenpeace Canada composed a list of Canadian plastic waste. The list monitors which litter is found most. It includes food wrappers, cigarette filters, and bags. Ranking in 4th place are plastic straws. This list doesn’t surprise us though.  At OkStraw Paper Straws, we know American’s contribute to being top plastic polluters as well.

Where’s the Corporate Responsibility?

These five companies need to focus on corporate responsibility. In fact, they are taking steps.  For example, they are recycling plastics and switching to compostable items. But, are these efforts this enough? The short answer is “no”. Sarah King is head of Greenpeace Canada’s plastics campaign.  She contends there is more opportunity for corporate responsibility.

Greenpeace explains that using recyclable plastics is not enough. Compostable bioplastics still are top plastic polluters. For instance, Greenpeace still found items like bioplastic cutlery on beaches.  OkStraw paper straws are biodegradable and compostable. But, many bioplastics need industrial facilities to compost.  Therefore, Corporate Responsibility starts with sourcing compostable materials.  How? It’s simple! Shop paper products!


Paper Straws for a Plastic-free Canada

Prime Minister Trudeau’s government pledging to ban single-use plastics in pursuit of a plastic-free Canada. Greenpeace took the first step towards a plastic-free Canada.  They marked as top plastic polluters. On the other hand, what changes can the average Canadian make? We at OkStraw Paper Straws believe more than you think. You can cut down on plastic waste in two ways.  First, employ a straw upon request policy.  Second, if a client ask, use a paper straw.  This is a culture shift towards a plastic-free Canada which everyone can adopt.

To clarify, bring your own coffee cup. Or shop with you own reusable bag.. Support a Plastic-Free Canada with simple solutions. For example, shop paper straws!  OkStraw’s paper straws break down naturally. That means less Canadian plastic waste.  We join Greenpeace.  We urge for more corporate responsibility.

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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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