Paper Straws for the Political Primaries

Political Paper Straws for the Primaries!

Americans are thirsty for political change. Left or Right, we offer political paper straws to any patriot.  2020’s in full swing, and that means it’s Primary Season. Millions of Americans are going to the polls, and selecting their preferred candidates. Naturally, only one candidate will win this race, but that doesn’t tamp down the thrill of the competition. So grab a drink, and enjoy the show!

Aside from the Primaries, there is another race going on, but it’s already won. To which race are we at OkStraw referring? The race for the best single-use straw, of course! The competition is hot, but there still remains one true standout winner. Spoiler alert: it’s our political paper straws!

liberal paper straws democrat paper straws progressive paper straws okstraw

With the Iowa Caucus wrapped up and the New Hampshire Primaries this week, election season’s in full swing! Grab a drink and watch the results come in with OkStraws political straws.  Over here in California, we have Super Tuesday’s coming up on March 3rd, and we’re heading to the polls! Here at OkStraw Paper Straws, we want to see eligible folks to hydrate and get out to vote.

To celebrate this living tradition, we offer a number of political paper straw designs. Try our American Flag Paper Straws to celebrate the Star Spangled Banner, available in jumbo cocktail size. Sticking with the patriotic theme, OkStraw also has red and blue star straws, and red and blue striped straws. For those who want a mix of all three designs, we have you covered with our Patriot Pack. Paper straws and voting: doesn’t get more all-American than that!

Last year, the Trump campaign launched their line of political plastic straws. Designed to “trigger the libs”, this set of red Trump-branded 10 paper straws retailed for 15 dollars. Wait, what!? Yep, a dollar fifty for an ordinary old plastic straw, it’s THAT absurd. So much for “overpriced” paper straws! While OkStraw isn’t here toe a Democratic or Republican party line, how could we NOT respond?

Now we have Liberal Paper Straws by OkStraw, just what you need to trigger your red plastic straw using neighbor. Proudly displaying the L-word and donkey mascot, OkStraw Liberal Paper Straws are trolling made sustainable. So when your neighbor shows off that flimsy $1.50 political plastic straw, whip out your Liberal Paper Straw and show ‘em who’s more fiscally responsible!

okstraw paper straws - memorial day - fourth of july - american flag - usa flag - paper straws - bbq - picnic 10

Here at OkStraw Paper Straws, we’re keeping the American traditions paper straws and voting alive. That’s correct, born right in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., paper straws are as American as it gets. The primaries are still ongoing, but paper straws are already victorious, and they’re defending their title.

OkStraw paper straws are biodegradable and fully organic, using no animal-based products. In fact, we offer custom print designs in 3-ply or 4-ply. Plus, we do all sizes of straws. From the barstirs to diagonal cut Bubble Tea – we do political paper straws for every size of beverage. We even offer ADA-compliant paper bendy straws. So get out, cast your votes and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

california paper straws okstraw paper straws california reduce plastic waste

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. 

okstraw - microplastic pollution - plastic waste - no plastic - end plastic pollution 2

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. 

okstraw paper straws certifications and sustainability fda food and drug administration sgs fsc forest stewardship council bfr

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!

golden gate bridge california plastic waste reduction paper straws okstraw

Join us: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

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.

Join us: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

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.

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!

Join us: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

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!

Join us: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

Patagonia Champions Corporate Social Responsibility

Patagonia's Corporate Social Responsibility

We’ve all heard the phrase in one way or another. “We live in a throwaway society!”, where everything is destined for the landfill, and nothing is made to last. It’s just that at this stage of capitalism, corporate social responsibility is a thing of the past. 

That’s how Patagonia’s CEO Rose Marcario feels, and she’s determined to change it. By emphasizing repairability, reusability, quality and social causes, Patagonia is setting the pace for other companies to follow. OkStraw Paper Straws would like to highlight Patagonia, and how they inspired us to prioritize social responsibility as a company.

59 percent of American shoppers believe a company’s values are important.

okstraw paper straws certifications and sustainability fda food and drug administration sgs fsc forest stewardship council bfr

Corporate Social Responsibility Pays!

When consumerism runs rampant, buying stuff takes the front seat to everything else. Electronics become unrepairable, and clothes fall apart before they’re out of fashion. Consumerism both maxes out people’s credit cards, and it destroys our planet. Producing throwaway goods increases greenhouse gases, and throwing them away causes pollution. 

If want a healthy planet, then corporate social responsibility must replace rampant consumerism. Companies like OkStraw Paper Straws and Patagonia accepted the challenge. Nowadays, too, corporate social responsibility means new and loyal customers.  In a recent survey, 59 percent of American shoppers believe a company’s values are important. So being socially responsible is both good for the planet, and for business!

 

Corporate Change Through Activism

Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard wanted Patagonia to make great products, while championing corporate social responsibility. Chouinard did this by blending environmentalism with business as Patagonia’s model. Thanks to visionaries like Chouinard, more companies like OkStraw Paper Straws can adopt this model, while staying competitive.

Not only is Patagonia an activist corporation, but it also supports activists. In 2016, Patagonia gave 100 percent ($10 million) of their Black Friday sales to environmental groups. And on September 20th, Patagonia temporarily closed its doors and joined the 2019 Climate Strike. Additionally, Patagonia donates 1 percent of all its sales to environmental causes. 

Corporate Sustainability Means Quality

Part of responsible business practices is focusing on quality over quantity. Patagonia does this by making repairable clothes instead of throwaway alternatives. What goes into products also matters, and that’s why Patagonia sacrificed sales profits to only use organic cotton. Repairing clothes cuts down on pollution, and using natural fibers helps fight the microplastic crisis. Fighting microplastics is a corporate social responsibility for OkStraw, so we’re glad Patagonia cares about it too.

 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we know also understand the cost of organic sourcing, because we practice it. While organic sourcing isn’t cheap, the dividend of a healthier planet outweighs any profit made from shortcutting. At OkStraw Paper Straws, quality over quantity takes priority. When we make a paper straw, we ensure it’s tough enough to do the job without a hitch. Using one good paper straw instead of three low quality ones saves both paper and energy. 

 

Paper Straws for a Sustainable Dividend

Admittedly, Patagonia makes repairable and reusable gear, while OkStraw makes disposable, single-use paper straws. However, we both believe that our social responsibility doesn’t stop when our products reach customers’ hands. When companies take shortcuts to make extra profit, it costs everyone in the long run. Instead of taking shortcuts, OkStraw Paper Straws works to make sure all aspects of our supply chain are ecofriendly

We at OkStraw Paper Straws spent extra capital to practice sustainable forestry, instead of clear cutting. Using organic oils, adhesives and food coloring was more expensive, but it was the right thing to do. Yes, OkStraw paper straws cost more than plastic straws, but our planet pays far less. We at OkStraw Paper Straws challenge all companies to take a minute, and ask what their corporate social responsibility is. We know ours, and it’s the Cause for Paper Straws!

Microplastics in Soil Hurt Earthworms

Microplastics seem to be all the rage today. We hear about them polluting the oceans, and even floating in the air. If that wasn’t scary enough, microplastics are now in the soil, and they’re hurting earthworms.

According to a recent scientific study, microplastics are causing worms to lose weight. This finding worries us at OkStraw Paper Straws, because it’s devastating news. If we want to ensure a stable food supply, then we have to tackle our microplastic problem.

 

okstraw - microplastic pollution - plastic waste - no plastic - end plastic pollution 2

Earthworms are in Trouble

In a recent study by Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, scientists observed microplastics causing rosy-tipped earthworms to lose weight. While scientists are sure why microplastics in soil cause earthworms to lose weight, the details are worrying.

The plastic responsible was HDPE, commonly used in plastic straws, bags and soda bottles. Scientists determined that HDPE in soil caused earthworms to lose 3% of their body weight over a month. Without HDPE in the soil, earthworms gained 5% body weight over the same timespan. This scares us at OkStraw Paper Straws, because microplastics hurting earthworms carries serious repercussions for human beings. 

Microplastics Threaten Human Beings

So far, scientists still don’t know whether microplastics directly hurt people who swallow them. With this news, however, we at OkStraw Paper Straws believe they won’t need to. That’s because microplastics in the soil directly threatens human populations.

Earthworms provide important nutrients for yielding healthy crops, which farmers need. If microplastics kill off earthworms, then farmers won’t be able to grow enough food to feed people. This means microplastics have the potential to cause crop failures, and food shortages. 

No Where is Safe From Microplastics

“But how do microplastics get into the soil?”, you may ask. Microplastics are incredibly invasive; storm clouds and wind storms can carry them across long distances. When microplastics enter rainstorms, they get carried down to the ground, and leech into the soil. Worms then eat these microplastics, lose weight and die, causing food shortages.

As with other forms of pollution, microplastics in the soil will disproportionately affect developing countries. Because developing countries have less safeguards against food shortages, microplastics will kill vulnerable people through starvation. We at OkStraw Paper Straws believe that unless we cut out plastics, the consequences will be deadly.

How You Can Fight Microplastics

Because HDPE microplastics hurt earthworms, let’s first cut out products that use this material. Instead of using HDPE-based plastic bags and plastic straws, switch to reusable bags and paper straws. These flimsy plastics are difficult to recycle properly, so the best safeguard is to not use them.

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we encourage everyone to join us in cutting out plastics. Not just for the turtles and fish, but for those earthworms, and even human beings. OkStraw organic paper straws are safely biodegradable in both the ocean and the soil. Our paper straws hurt neither turtle nor earthworm, and they don’t threaten food security. So do it for the worms, do it for the people, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

okstraw paper straws certifications and sustainability fda food and drug administration sgs fsc forest stewardship council bfr
great pacific garbage patch okstraw paper straws

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Cleanup Progress

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

If you read the news about plastic waste, then you probably know about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Growing exponentially, the Garbage Patch poses an existential threat to the marine animals, and the people who rely on the ocean for sustenance. In order to fight this plastic waste menace, scientists and engineers set to work, and created Ocean Cleanup. 

 

While it shows great promise in plastic harvesting, Ocean Cleanup launched to a rocky start. Debuting on October, 2018 Ocean Cleanup experienced problems, but now it’s fixed, relaunched, and already showing promising results. This news thrills us at OkStraw Paper Straws, and we eagerly look forward to hearing Ocean Cleanup’s further successes. 




What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

Plastic waste is a huge threat to our planet. Not only does it contribute to climate change, but plastic waste also doesn’t biodegrade. Much of this plastic waste ends up in the oceans, where it kills marine animals who ingest it. In fact, so much plastic enters the ocean, scientists predict that plastic will outnumber fish by 2050. While we know this prediction all too well at OkStraw Paper Straws, it still scares the daylights out of us. 

 

So what is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s actually two giant circular currents of plastic waste that countries on the Pacific Ocean generate. Located between California and Hawaii, and between Hawaii and Japan, these two garbage masses mostly consist of plastic waste. With at least 1.8 million pieces of plastic, scientists predict the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly growing the day. Unless we use ecofriendly alternatives to plastic, this massive oceanic patch will grow out of control.

Enter The Ocean Cleanup

Based out of the Netherlands, The Ocean Cleanup’s star creation is a plastic harvesting device. Ocean Cleanup consists of bloating booms in the Garbage Patch, and fine screens attached that catch and contain plastic particles. After containing these plastics, cleanup crews can then take this waste to shore, and properly recycle them. 

First presented by CEO Boyan Slat at a TEDx conference in 2012, Ocean Cleanup underwent a lengthy development phase.The Ocean Cleanup device finally made its debut on October 2018, but had to go in for repairs this January. Relaunching on June 2019, Ocean Cleanup announced that the device is successfully harvesting plastic waste. 

In addition to harvesting visible plastic waste, Ocean Cleanup can now capture microplastic pieces as small as 1 millimeter. Microplastics are a big problem, because unlike biodegradable paper, they never dissolve, and continue polluting the environment. If anyone is serious about harvesting plastic waste, then they have to capture microplastics.

A Future Without Plastic Harvesting

While Ocean Cleanup’s plastic harvesting is fantastic news, we at OkStraw Paper Straws know it’s only half of the fight. If we truly want to end the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, then we need to stop generating plastic waste. Thanks to tons of ecofriendly plastic alternatives on the market, plastic’s days are finally numbered. 

 

Unlike plastic straws, OkStraw’s paper straws are fully biodegradable, requiring no special composting or recycling facilities. As longtime Pacific coastal residents, we at OkStraw witness the impact plastic waste has on our beaches and waterways. Because of this, we extend our most heartfelt gratitude to the people behind Ocean Cleanup for all they’ve done. There may still be tons of plastics in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but you’ll never find an OkStraw paper straw among them.

Italian Island of Capri Bans Plastic Straws

The global war on plastic waste keeps roaring on, and this Spring marked yet another victory. With mayoral approval, Capri’s local government banned single-use plastics from the island, including plastic straws. 

This tiny Mediterranean island joins other world-famous beachfront destinations that gave plastic the boot. With Capri banning items like plastic straws, the island’s visitors will soon get a taste of a plastic-free lifestyle. At atOkStraw Paper Straws, we’re elated to hear Capri say arriederci to single use plastics in favor for ecofriendly alternatives like paper straws!

Capri's Plastic Waste Problem

Located off the coast of Naples, Italy, Capri is legendary destination for international tourists and movie stars alike. Cliffside villages, designer boutiques and a sea cave adorn this Mediterranean gem. However, lurking beneath this beguiling surface lies a serious problem.

 

Capri hosts 2.3 million tourists every year, and every one of them leaves their plastic waste behind. With a population equivalent to Chicago visiting this tiny island every year, Capri is struggling to manage this plastic waste. As a result, Mayor Giovanni De Martino just approved a ban on all-single use plastics from the island. 

For a Sustainable Capritian Future

Capri’s single-use plastics ban covers plastic straws, water bottles, bags, cutlery, and stirrers. From now on, all single-use materials on Capri Island must be biodegradable. Otherwise, violators of the single-use plastics ban face fines of up to €500. Although the ban took effect on 1 May, Capri’s government gave local businesses a 90 days to comply

 

While it’s great to hear Capri reject single-use plastics, they would still be covered by another plastics ban. Capri is part of the European Union, which already pledged to phase out single-use plastics in all countries by 2021. Nevertheless, we at OkStraw Paper Straws believe Capri made the right decision to ban single-use plastics. 

Paper Straws for Capri Island

We at OkStraw Paper Straws share much in common with Capri’s residents. Much like Capri, our hometown San Diego is a world-famous destination. Likewise, hosting millions of visitors means we both have to deal with plastic waste. So rather than worry about dealing with plastic waste, why not do away with it? We think so, and that’s why San Diego banned single-use plastics.

 

Thanks to innovative companies like OkStraw Paper Straws, single-use plastic alternatives are here better than ever. OkStraw’s paper straws are fully biodegradable, making them compliant with Capri’s single-use plastics ban. OkStraw paper straws degrade naturally, and never contain harmful chemicals. Once an OkStraw Paper Straw does its job, it returns to the planet that bore it. On the island today, back to nature tomorrow, OkStraw’s paper straws are Capri’s newest ecotourists. 

 

OkStraw Paper Straws Teams Up with Environmental Group BEAT

What do environmental groups and paper straws have in common? Both do their part to keep our oceans free from plastic waste. That’s why OkStraw Paper Straws is proud to announce that we’re teaming up with BEAT. Brunswick Environmental Action Team (BEAT) is based out of North Carolina, and works to keep Brunswick County a beautiful place.

As beachgoing San Diego natives, we at OkStraw Paper Straws know how important environmental groups are. Beaches and oceans free from plastic waste benefit everyone, but people need to protect them. When the beach is your home, you need to make it a clean and safe place to live. Thanks to the BEAT’s work, more Brunswick County residents are fight for healthier beaches and lands. 

About BEAT

Located on North Carolina’s southern coast, Brunswick County boasts stunning beaches and natural land preserves. A group of Brunswick locals wanted to protect these places, and founded the first BEAT in 1996. The original BEAT founders eventually retired and passed away, though, and BEAT went into hiatus. In 2017, however, former members of a local environmental group got together, and started BEAT back up. Since then, BEAT is going stronger than ever.

The environment is first priority for BEAT, not partisanship. BEAT hosts board meetings that anyone can attend, and be part of the discussion. Educating people about the local environment and protecting is the mission at BEAT, and we at OkStraw Paper Straws value this commitment. OkStraw works to fight plastic waste by taking harmful plastic straws out of the equation, and protect marine animals.

BEAT and OkStraw: Our Shared Goals

Because Brunswick County is on the Atlantic Ocean, protecting marine life is paramount for BEAT. The environmental group opposes offshore oil drilling and seismic testing, as both hurt marine animals. BEAT also opposes single-use plastic bags, and we at OkStraw Paper Straws oppose them as well. Plastic pollution of any kind hurts marine animals, and OkStraw does its part to take cut out plastic straws. OkStraw and BEAT both come together in our shared goal of a world free from plastic waste, and clean place to live.

Environmental groups like BEAT remind us at OkStraw why we never take shortcuts to protect the ocean. OkStraw only uses compostable and organic paper, glues and food dyes, and no chemicals, waxes or plastics. If you want to protect the environment, then you need to be true to yourself, and never make compromises

Beat Out Plastic Waste

Thanks to environmental groups like BEAT, people are more empowered to protect the planet. Groups like BEAT raise awareness about issues like plastic waste, and empower everyday people to make sustainable changes. Even small changes like switching from plastic straws to paper straws go a long way to cutting out harmful waste. OkStraw Paper Straws looks forward to BEAT’s future, and their work to keep Brunswick County a beautiful place to live. Thanks to environmental groups like BEAT, more people are ditching plastic, and are joining the Cause for Paper Straws.

Not all Paper Foodware is Created Equal

With more public opposition and more crackdowns on single-use plastics, eco-friendly disposable sales are booming. It seems like every day, a new company claims its products will heal this plastic-contaminated world. 

Not all of these so-called eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics are better for the planet, however. Some companies take shortcuts with their products, and under closer scrutiny, these eco-friendly claims start crumbling. Unlike OkStraw Paper Straws, which stands behind its eco-friendly products, these companies fall well short.

The PFAS Menace

Some of companies selling fiber bowls for soups and salads market them as eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bowls. Many of these paper bowls, however, contain polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS chemicals are human made, and will never break down in the natural environment. Once PFAS chemicals enter the environment, they’re there forever.

What’s worse, if PFAS-laced materials mix with compostable materials, they will stop everything from breaking down. These facts truly shock and appall us at OkStraw Paper Straws. If there are PFAS chemicals in fiber bowls, then what other paper foodware products contain them? How many inferior paper plates, paper straws and takeout containers out there contain PFAS? At OkStraw, we believe shortcuts like this both endanger the environment, and hurt the cause against plastic. 

Finding a company that stands behind its eco-friendly claims is more important than ever.​

Reusable Single-Use Plastic?

News like this makes people think eco-friendly products are no better for the planet than single-use plastics. They might say that plastic straws can be recycled, so they are actually better than paper straws. Let’s hold on for a minute, because this argument misses the point. 

 

Yes, single-use plastics are TECHNICALLY reusable, but they almost never are. Plastic straws are too thin and flimsy to hold up long term, and most facilities can’t recycle them. Not only this, but plastics never truly decompose. They break apart into tiny pieces, or microplastics. These microplastics are now in the water we drink, the food we eat, and even the air we breathe. We need truly biodegradable, eco-friendly products that kick our addiction to plastic once and for all.

okstraw - microplastic pollution - plastic waste - no plastic - end plastic pollution 2
okstraw paper straws certifications and sustainability fda food and drug administration sgs fsc forest stewardship council bfr

OkStraw Never Compromises

Finding a company that stands behind its eco-friendly claims is more important than ever, but where? Where do you find a company that truly stands behind its biodegradable claims? OkStraw knows making real eco-friendly product leaves no room for shortcuts. That’s why at OkStraw Paper Straws, we go the distance, and never compromise our mission of sustainability.

OkStraw’s paper straws are PFAS free, and are made from organic paper, food dye, and glue. Unlike inferior BFAS-containing products, our paper straws won’t interfere with other properly biodegradable foodware. Should an OkStraw paper straw end up in the ocean or on the ground, it won’t stick around for long. 

Paper Straws that Protect the Planet

OkStraw’s paper straws also carry the organic composting company Cedar Grove’s seal of approval. Cedar Grover is a member of the nationwide Composting Manufacturing Alliance (CMA). CMA’s partners rigorously field test biodegradable foodware, ensuring these products truly compost in the natural world. OkStraw doesn’t just talk a good game about making biodegradable paper straws. We have the credentials to prove it. 

We make our paper straws from materials that exist in this ecosystem, not from fossil fuels or synthetic chemicals. OkStraw’s paper straws are born from our living planet, and when they reach the end of their service life, they return to it. With OkStraw Paper Straws, there are neither shortcuts nor compromises. Just strong American quality.