Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Straw integrity addresses usage, content, and disposition

In the March 2019 RiA article, Three Steps to Straw Integrity, Elemental Impact (Ei), in partnership with Ei Strategic Ally One More Generation (OMG), announced the Three-Step Straw Initiative (TSSI). The three steps are:

Step #1REDUCE straw usage.
Step #2SHIFT to paper straws.
Step #3COMPOST used straws.

For Ei, the TSSI is an easy, first step in addressing the prolific micro and nanoplastics infiltrating our soils, waterways, atmosphere, and human-food chain.

For OMG, the TSSI expands the OMG One Less Straw (OLS) Pledge Campaign beyond plastic-straw usage reduction to address straw content and disposition | end-of-life. As participants are required to take the OLS pledge in Step #1, the TSSI serves as a marketing vehicle for the stellar program.

One Less Straw
In November 2016, OMG founders Olivia Ries (then 14-years old) and her brother Carter (then 16-years old) launched their global OLS Pledge Campaign. OLS educates the public about the dangers of single-use plastic straws and its effects on our health, our environment, and our oceans.

The OLS site details the following disturbing facts:
  • Each year 100,000 marine animals and over 1 million seabirds die from ingesting plastic.
  • Every day we use 500,000,000 plastic straws. That’s enough straws to fill 46,400 large school buses PER YEAR!
  • U.S. Consumption is equal to enough plastic straws to wrap around the earth’s circumference 2.5 times a day!
A HUGE success, OLS boasts almost 800 partners, restaurants, and schools around the globe. Prominent partners include Delta Air Lines, Hilton Hotels (650 properties), Red Lobster Restaurants (700+ restaurants), and TED's Montana Grill (43 restaurants).

OLS participants may order complimentary "We only serve straws upon request" buttons for servers to wear. To date, OLS has distributed over 47,000 buttons!

IMPRESSIVE: several seasoned OLS participants no longer require the buttons as their customers are well educated on "straws available upon request." Thus, they gifted their buttons to new nearby OLS participants for reuse!

OLS Partners support the program via discounts available to the commercial and individual-pledge participants.

Green Planet Straws
With perfect timing, Green Planet Straws (GPS) joined the Ei Partner program in March to support the TSSI Step #2: SHIFT from plastic to paper straws. OLS commercial-pledge participants proved that serving straws only upon request reduces overall straw consumption by 70 - 75%. Thus, the shift to paper straws is essentially cost-neutral as the usage reduction compensates for the higher paper-straw cost.

GPS has ample capacity supported by a strong distribution system to supply the hospitality industry with top-quality paper straws. In addition, GPS is pursuing BPI Certified Compostable status and is staged to serve as the industry's first certified-paper straw.

As an OLS Partner, GPS offers commercial-pledge participants 10% off pallet orders along with free shipping.

Healthy Human
For individual-pledge participants, OLS Partner Healthy Human offers a pack of three stainless-steel straws for $5.00, including shipping within the U.S. The limited-time discount is 50% off the regular price. Additionally, Healthy Human donates $1.00 for every three-pack sold to OLS.

Individuals may sign the OLS pledge at this link. Upon pledge submission, the individual will receive redemption instructions.

Healthy Human serves as a leading innovator in sustainability by creating products that eliminate or replace single-use plastic items.

TSSI meeting at The Carter Center
photo courtesy of OMG
The TSSI is in the pre-launch stage as Founding Participants are recruited. To date, the following prominent Ei Pioneers gave the big YES to TSSI participation: Affairs to Remember Caterers, Levy Restaurants - Georgia World Congress Center, Levy Restaurants - State Farm Arena, Proof of the Pudding - The Carter Center, Piedmont Driving Club, Pacific Rim, Hsu's Gourmet, and Ted's Montana Grill.

In addition, Ei Founder Holly Elmore visited Orlando and Tampa, FL to introduce the TSSI to local government officials. Follow-up visits are scheduled for mid-July and September.

Though they are a relatively minor portion of the plastic-pollution crisis, plastic straw daily and annual usage represents significant pollution tonnage. Straws are high profile and an "easy-win" in the steps towards eliminating single-use plastic food and beverage packaging. The Three-Step Straw Initiative brings "straw integrity" to the hospitality industry by addressing usage, content and disposition | end of life.

No comments:

Post a Comment