Paper Straws for the Political Primaries

Paper Straws for the Political Primaries

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 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! Over here in California, we have Super Tuesday’s coming up on March 3nd, and we’re heading to the polls! Here at OkStraw Paper Straws, we want to see eligible folks to get out and make their voices heard. 

 

To celebrate this living tradition, we offer a number of seasonal 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 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 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. Available in various prints, custom and in 3-ply or 4-play, there’s a paper straw just for you. From the staple jumbo cocktail paper straw, to the angled cut Bubble Tea Paper Straw, and even 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

Californians Vote to Reduce Plastic Waste in 2020

We know plastic waste affects everyone and every place, and California’s no exception. 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, this scenario might just be on the horizon.

 

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

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Third Bill's The Charm?

Plastic waste chokes marine habitats and overwhelms recycling facilities. While there are many plastic culprits,  single-use plastics are among the worst. They only get used once, but they litter the environment forever. Think plastic straws or food packaging, and then you’ll realize how pervasive single-use plastics really are. Unless companies are compelled to use biodegradable alternatives, then they have no incentive to cut out single-use plastics. 

This year, California’s State Legislature in Sacramento had the opportunity to pass bills to limit single-use plastics. The bills would have required manufacturers to take responsibility for plastics they produce. Manufacturers would have needed 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.

The New Recycling Bill Explained

That’s where this new bill comes in, and it goes further than those two dead 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 will go to building composting and recycling facilities, and pay for beach cleanups. 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we like seeing legislation that both addresses single-use plastic, and deals with the waste issue. The 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

Stay Vigilant, Californians!

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 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. Unless California residents know the truth about this recycling bill, then they’ll fall victim to these scare tactics too. 

Paper Straws for a Sustainable California

From us at OkStraw to our fellow Californians: Don’t believe the scary stories plastics companies tell you. This recycling bill won’t take away your toothpaste and dog food, it will hold plastic companies accountable. If we want to heal our oceans and fight climate change, then we need to recycle all plastic, and replace it when we can. 

Fortunately, great biodegradable alternatives to plastic are out there, and our paper straws are one of them. OkStraw Paper Straws never need special composting, and come from sustainable forestry practices. From ADA-compliant paper bendy straws to paper bubble tea straws, there’s a biodegradable straw for every drink. 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

New 2020 Organic Recycling Rules for California

2020 is here, and that means new laws took effect on New Year’s Day. Starting January 1st, the State of California now requires more restaurants to recycle their organic waste. Restaurants producing 2 cubic yards of organic waste weekly will now need to recycle them. California’s limit used to be 4 cubic yards, so the new limit affects more businesses than ever.

 

Here at OkStraw Paper Straws, we think California’s push for more organic recycling 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 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. Organic waste includes uneaten food (organic or non-organic), landscape trimmings like grass, leaves or 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. Because restaurants deal in food, they’ll generate organic waste. Whether it’s an uneaten potato or lettuce stumps, this organic waste needs to be recycled. If your restaurant produces 2 or more cubic yards of organic waste every week, then you need to recycle.

Why Organic Recycling is so Important

So know what counts as organic waste, but why does California care so much about it? California cares because organic recycling helps fight climate change. Organic waste that decomposes in the landfill produces large amounts of methane. Methane is far more aggressive than CO2, so we don’t want large emissions. 

Organic recycling helps capture these methane emissions, and lowers greenhouse gasses. As we at OkStraw Paper Straws know the threat climate change poses to everyone, we think organic recycling is a mandatory step to take.

 

The other reason why organic recycling is so important is that: recycling. Soil from organic waste is rich in nutrients, which helps farmers grow crops more efficiently. 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 organic recycling law wasn’t the first one the California state legislature passed. In 2014, Governor Brown signed a bill into law, requiring a 50% reduction in organic disposal in 5 years. Five years later, however, California didn’t meet its recycling goal. By mandating organic recycling for more restaurants, California is serious about finally hitting this target.

 

With more restaurants falling under the new organic recycling law, California is on its way to finally meeting this goal. California allows some exemptions, however. These include places without local organic recyclers, and restaurants without the space for organic recycling containers. Eventually, 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!

Prague Bans Plastic Straws and Foodware

Prague Bans Plastic Straws and Foodware

The war on plastic waste keeps on marching, and this time, it’s coming to Central Europe. After dealing with litter, the Czech capital city of Prague finally decided to take action. Starting on May 1st, 2019, Prague no longer allows single-use plastics at music festivals hosted in the city.

Prague’s single-use plastics ban includes plastic straws, cups, food containers and cutlery. Consequently, music festival goers can no longer purchase food and drinks contained in or packaged with single-use plastic. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we eagerly look forward to Prague leading by Central Europe’s fight against plastic in the arts.

norwalk-plastic-straws-okstraw-paper-straws

Show's Over for Single-Use Plastics

Famous worldwide, Prague is the Czech Republic’s political and cultural capital. Among Europe’s funnest cities, Prague has no shortage of music festivals. While they’re fun for attendees, these festivals generate plastic waste, and Prague’s had enough. Therefore, Prague’s municipal government decided to ban single-use plastics at these events. 

While the government named rap and pop music, Prague’s single-use plastics ban covers all music festivals. Moreover, Prague took the extra step, and banned single-use plastics at all art events. This includes painting, dancing and acting events. OkStraw Paper Straws commends Prague for comprehensively eradicating single-use plastics. Art often represents our values, and Prague’s resolution sings gracefully.

Ecofriendly Alternatives to Plastics

Prague now wants music festival goers to use porcelain, glass and metal foodware instead of single-use plastics. While this seems sensible, some critics voiced their concerns. Critics worry that intoxicated festival goers may injure themselves with these utensils.Additionally, drunk and disorderly festival goers could hurt others by throwing glasses and porcelain plates. 

This places Prague’s festivals at a dilemma. Prague wants to fight single-use plastic waste, which we at OkStraw commend. However, we don’t want to see metal, glass foodware become a safety hazard. Is there a good compromise, then? Absolutely, because biodegradable foodware like paper straws and bamboo cutlery are safe, ban compliant plastic-free alternatives. 

biodegradable red stripe paper straws - red stripe jumbo paper straw - red stripe cocktail paper straw - red stripe drinking paper straw - red stripe wholesale paper straw

Paper Straws for Prague

OkStraw Paper Straws is one of these outstanding biodegradable foodware companies. Our paper straws are safe for festival goers who take liberties with Prague’s many outstanding brews. With OkStraw’s Straws custom print offerings, Prague’s music festivals can have their very own paper straws, and protect the River Vltava.

Prague now joins other cities that banned single-use plastics at venues, including Orlando, and events like Glastonbury. With the EU phasing out plastics by 2021, Prague is staying proactive and well prepared for a plastic-free Czech future. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we raise our drinks to the amazing city of Prague, and give a resounding “na zdravy!”

Trump Curbs Climate Change Impact Research

The Trump administration just ordered a government agency to stop predicting the long term impacts of climate change. The order came from the US Geological Survey (USGS) director James Reilly. Reilly, a Trump-appointed former oil geologist, ordered scientific assessments to only make climate change predictions up until the year 2040. 

The Trump administration limiting the predictions of climate change to 2040 is a serious blow to saving our planet. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we believe this new prediction model, just like the Trump administration’s view on plastics, is dangerous and shortsighted. Fighting climate change is an uphill battle, and to win this battle, we must know its long term impacts.

Trump vs. Climate Change Scientists

Before this change, the USGS used 2100 as the year to study climate change impacts. By using 2100 in their computer models, scientists were better able to predict how climate change will progress. With the scope of their research shortened to 20 years, climate scientists can’t make accurate enough predictions, and can’t recommend the best strategies.

 

While we at OkStraw Paper Straws focus on cutting out plastic waste, we know climate change is humanity’s biggest existential threat. As earth’s temperature rises, more cities will become flooded, countries will be too hot to inhabit, and droughts will starve people. Because of these effects, climate change is a major economic, geographic and humanitarian threat to our planet. 

The Shortsighted Trump Administration

Climate change is also a major national security threat, according to the Pentagon, because it makes natural disasters worse. With the recent devastation brought on by Hurricane Dorian, the Trump administration should take this threat national security threat seriously. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is doing just the opposite. 

In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised climate change for melting ice, and opening new trade route paths. Pompeo saying something says the Trump administration acknowledges that climate change is happening, and they’d rather chase a dollar now than plan for the future. 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we acknowledge how absurd the Trump administration’s view on climate change is. Afterall, what good will a bigger economy and more trade routes do if climate change makes our planet unliveable? Unless President Trump has another planet ready for us to move to, we’d strongly suggest he wake and start taking climate change seriously.

trump pulls US out of climate accord okstraw paper straws
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Plastic Waste and Climate Change

So what does a company that sells paper straws have to do with limiting the impact of climate change? Far more than you would think, as a matter of fact. When we think of plastic waste, microplastics and so on, we mainly see it as a threat to marine animals and environmental safety. While all of this is true, plastic also causes climate change.

Producing plastics requires drilling for fossil fuels, which emits huge amounts of carbon. In fact, according to the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), the plastics industry produces up to 14 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. If we want to slow down climate change, then cutting out plastics will go a long way.

Paper Straws to Fight Climate Change

That’s where OkStraw Paper Straws comes in. Our mission is to break our addiction to single-use plastics, both healing our environment, and lowering our carbon footprint. Unlike some irresponsible and shortsighted companies, OkStraw neither demolishes virgin or tropical forests, nor practices clearcutting. Instead, we source our organic paper from ethical forestry practices, in compliance with the Sustainable Forestry Council (SFC).

 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we can only hope the Trump administration wakes up to the serious impact of climate change. After all, saving our planet doesn’t end when the next president takes office. President Trump has the opportunity to leave a sustainable legacy, but he’s squandering it by curtailing climate scientists’ research. OkStraw might be a little paper straw company, but even we can do our part to fight climate change.

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. 

 

Union City to Ban Plastic Straws

Union City is set to be the newest municipality in California set to ban plastic straws. Citing the need to reduce litter and plastic waste in waterways, the City Council passed the bill unanimously. Taking effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the law requires businesses to only hand out compostable paper straws on request.

In addition to banning plastic straws, the law requires businesses only hand out disposable foodware on request. This list includes paper napkins, single-use takeout containers, and cutlery. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we’re excited to see another city in our home state move away around plastic. 

Plastic straws are no longer welcome in Union City
Union City's Council passed the ban unanimously.

Implementing the Plastic Straw Ban

Union City’s plastic straw ban follows other Bay Area cities, including Palo Alto, Berkeley, Richmond, Oakland, and San Francisco. In addition to local bans, the State of California already restricts plastic drinking straws to an upon-request basis. Union City’s plastic straw ban will affect about 200 businesses, who will need to use compostable alternatives.

 

While the plastic straw ban takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020, Union City won’t begin enforcing it until July 1. Giving a 6-month grace period will allow businesses to deplete their plastic supply, and acquire paper straws. According to city staffers, Union City wants to work with violating businesses to make them compliant, rather than fining them. In the coming months, city staffers will visit each business, and discuss how to comply with the plastic straw ban. 

Quality Paper Straws For Union City

While Union City will work with businesses to switch over, not everyone is excited with the plastic straw ban. Even with more bans driving demand up, paper straws often cost more than plastic. At OkStraw, we understand cost concerns, and that’s why we offer premium paper straws at affordable prices. With factory-direct pricing for our paper straws, choosing OkStraw makes great financial sense. 

 

Although Union City businesses supported banning plastic straws, they didn’t think their customers would. City staffers cited customers unhappy with collapsed, soggy paper straws. These stories are all-too familiar with us at OkStraw, and they’re because of low quality paper straws. Unlike other inferior paper straws, OkStraw’s 3-ply paper straws last 3 hours, and our 4-plies at least 5!

 

Low quality paper straws have no place hurt the consumer experience
OkStraw Paper Bendy Straws are true alternatives to plastic.

Last Stand for Bendy Plastic Straws

Although otherwise comprehensive, Union City’s ban will still allow plastic bendy straws for people with disabilities. Disability rights advocates previously criticized plastic bans, because many people with disabilities need bendy straws to drink. Without any viable paper alternatives, plastic straws held on.

Until now, that is, because OkStraw’s Bendy Paper Straws deliver the final blow to their plastic foe. Our Bendy Paper Straws are ADA-compliant, making them a top choice for people who need them. With OkStraw ADA-compliant paper straws, Union City can both be inclusive, and be 100-percent plastic straw free.

Here's to a Plastic-Free Future

We’d like to commend Union City for taking the big leap to give plastic straws the boot. Thanks to affordable and strong paper straws from companies like OkStraw, making the switch won’t be hard. Whether you serve bubble tea, slushies, or need ADA-compliant bendy paper straws, OkStraw has you covered.

With Union City joining the party, the Bay Area looks poised to ditch plastic straws altogether. At OkStraw, we’re calling out for folks across the US to say farewell to plastic straws, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

Norwalk, Connecticut to Restrict Plastic Straws

The city council in Norwalk, Connecticut is about to take a big step in the battle against plastic waste with an incoming ordinance. When it takes effect, the ordinance will ban plastic stirrers, and restrict plastic straws. Soon, Norwalk restaurants can only give patrons plastic straws upon request.

 

Citing the need to protect the environment, Norwalk’s city council has been drafting the ordinance for the last few months. During that time, the city council heard concerns from numerous residents and advocates, and wrote the bill carefully. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we’re excited to see more cities ditch plastic straws, and embrace sustainability.

Norwalk's City Council will vote on the plastic straw and stirrer law.
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Norwalk has already banned polystyrene and plastic bags.

Norwalk Goes Plastic Free

Not only will the bill affect plastic straws, but also ban plastic drink stirrers. Though they get less attention than plastic straws, plastic stirrers still hurt marine animals, and they don’t get recycled. Most of all, compostable wood stirrers and paper straws are readily available, so we don’t need plastic stirrers. By banning this completely unnecessary item, OkStraw Paper Straws believes Norwalk is doing the right thing.

 

Norwalk’s plastic straw and stirrer law isn’t the first anti-plastic ordinance the city passed. On September 11th, Norwalk outlawed polystyrene items, and on July 8th, the city’s plastic bag ban took effect. Norwalk’s polystyrene ban will take effect on the same day as the plastic straw and stirrer law, Earth Day, 2020. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we are thrilled to see Norwalk take such a comprehensive approach to ending plastic waste. 

Norwalk's Residents on Plastic Straws

So far, Norwalk’s plastic straw and stirrer ordinance has the support from local environmental advocates. Among them is Betty Ball, founder ofSkip the Plastic Norwalk. Speaking firsthand, Ball cited how many plastic straws and stirrers her group picked up in citywide cleanups. At OkStraw Paper Straw, we this story is all-too familiar to us. Plastic straws are often thrown away without thought, where they pollute the environment, and harm marine animals. 

 

One of the few objections to banning plastic straws outright has been disability rights concerns. For many people with disability access needs, plastic bendy straws are a necessity. After hearing from disability rights advocates, Norwalk’s city council will all people to receive plastic straws on request. While this means Norwalk will stop short of banning plastic straws, they will be ADA compliant. 

Bendy straws are necessary for many people with disabilities.

Paper Straws for Norwalk

While Norwalk wants to ditch plastic straws, being ADA compliant means allowing people access to bendy plastic straws. Bendiness was the last bastion of the plastic straw, but thanks to OkStraw’s Bendy Paper Straws, the tides are turning. That’s because our ADA-compliant Bendy Paper Straws solve the flexibility and strength issues that plagued lesser paper straws. 

With OkStraw Paper Bendy Straws, plastic bendy straws are obsolete. This means cities like Norwalk can fully ban plastic straws, while also complying with the ADA. With each new ban, the market for biodegradable paper straws is growing day by day. With offerings like Boba Tea Paper Straws, Spoon Paper Straws, and any custom print you want, OkStraw makes them all. So folks of Norwalk, ditch the plastic, help the planet, and Join the Cause for Paper Straws!

India to Ban Single-Use Plastics

The Indian government just announced that it will ban disposable and single-use plastics. Taking effect on October 2nd, the ban outlaws plastic straws, packaging, bags, cups, and foodware. While several states like Maharashtra passed their own bans, this new law affects the entire country.

Plastic waste is a national crisis in India, but this ban goes a long way to solve it. As opponents of single-use plastic, OkStraw Paper Straws is happy to see India take action. OkStraw knows that drastic times call for drastic measures, and with this new ban, India has a greener future on its horizon.  

Plastic waste hurts animals like cows, which live in populated areas.

India's Single-Use Plastic Problem

India is a young, rapidly developing nation of 1.3 billion people, but it suffers from pollution. As a result, cities like Gurudam are among the world’s most polluted, and plastic waste is no better. Plastic waste kills India’s animals, destroys natural habitats, and threatens people’s health. Furthermore, microplastics are a major threat to India’s ecosystem, because they pollute the water, air and soil. 

People in India recycle a large portion of plastic, but it’s not enough to reduce plastic waste. In fact, estimates say that by 2022, the average Indian person will use nearly 50 pounds of plastic every year. That means no matter how much plastic India recycles, there will still be more polluting the environment. India needs extreme measures to solve this crisis, and we at OkStraw think a single-use plastics ban might be it. 

Modi's Campaign Against Plastic

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made fighting plastic waste and pollution a national issue. On August 15th, Modi asked Indians to reject single-use plastics, and plans to phase them out entirely by 2022. With his campaign, Modi wants to create a plastic-free legacy for 1.3 billion people. 

 

Banning single-use plastics nationwide won’t be easy, however, according to New Delhi-based columnist Archana Jyoti. Jyoti explains that India needs viable alternatives to replace single-use plastics, and people need to abide by the law. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we understand this concern, but Indians need not fear, because sustainable solutions are already here. 

Prime Minister Modi vows to end plastic waste in India.

Solutions for a Plastic-Free India

Thanks to growing opposition to single-use plastic waste, biodegradable solutions are hitting the market. In this new market, Indian entrepreneurs are introducing natural, renewable solutions to single-use plasticsWe at OkStraw Paper Straws eagerly await to see new solutions to single-use plastics from India’s new entrepreneurs. 

OkStraw Paper Straws is no stranger to the struggle to create true plastic alternatives. We know the sleepless nights and the trial and error, because we’ve been there. In the end, we created paper straws for any drink, from boba tea to slushies. So while India’s single-use plastic ban shuts one door, it opens far more new doors for entrepreneurs. With each plastics ban, the market for compostable goods keeps growing. And now with 1.3 billion more people, the market just got a whole lot bigger!

California Aims to End Single Use-Plastics by 2030

This week, lawmakers in Sacramento are considering three bills that would effectively end single-use plastics within the next decade. These bills would require all single-use plastic foodware and packaging sold in California be recyclable, or compostable by Jan. 1 2030. The bills would also require a 75 percent reduction in waste from single-use packaging.

 

Under the bill, all single-use foodware including plates, takeout containers, cutlery, cups and straws will need to be recyclable or compostable. Products made from polystyrene and plastic-coated plastic like milk containers will be banned, unless companies make them recyclable. If passed, these California single-use plastic laws will be the strictest of their type in the country. California state legislators have until the end of this week to vote these bills into law, or else they come up for voting next year.

We don’t just want single-use plastics laws, we desperately need them

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch will keep growing bigger and bigger each day, unless we make serious changes

No More Single-Use Plastics

Most of us know how bad single-use plastics are for the environment, but the statistics still shock us at OkStraw Paper Straws. Half of all plastic on Earth is less than 13 years old, and in the U.S. alone, only 9 percent of it sold gets recycled. What’s worse, 13 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year. This plastic kills marine animals, and it’s getting worse. A recent study found that by 2050, there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean than fish.

 

These numbers show that we don’t just want single-use plastics laws, we desperately need them. The problem, however, is that the infrastructure to recycle all plastics isn’t there yet, and plastics companies won’t make this step unless the law requires them to do so. At California-based OkStraw Paper Straws, however, we took the initiative, left single-use plastics in the past, where they should be. 

 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we aren't worried, because the future without single-use plastics is already here.

Supporters and Opponents

The two main legislators behind these bills are Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez from San Diego, and state Senator Ben Allen from Santa Monica. California’s major environmental groups support the bills, including the Sierra Club, Audubon California, and Oceana. Cities like Los Angeles and San Diego (OkStraw’s hometown) are also throwing in their endorsements, and restricted single-use plastics themselves.  

 

California’s proposed single-use plastics laws have a number of opponents however, including the California Chamber of Commerce, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. These groups say California’s single-use plastics laws will will be too costly, and even make modern products like toothpaste illegal. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we aren’t worried, because the future without single-use plastics is already here.

 

While some companies kick and scream about a future beyond single-use plastic, we at OkStraw Paper Straws are already there. 

Paper Straws for California

OkStraw solves the plastic straw problem by making paper straws for today. Our Bendy Paper Straws are ADA compliant, and our Boba Tea Paper Straws offer uncompromised strength and durability. Complying with California’s single-use plastics laws isn’t rocket science, it’s paper science! OkStraw shows that paper is a practical alternative to plastic for single-use foodware like cups, straws, plates and takeout containers.

Yes, paper doesn’t work as well for some products, but that’s why compostable PLA-based plastics are there. While PLA plastics aren’t as biodegradable as paper, they are far better than fossil fuel-based plastics. So California’s single-use plastics laws won’t be the end of the world, in fact they will help save the world. While some companies kick and scream about a future beyond single-use plastic, we at OkStraw Paper Straws are already there. 

Delaware the Newest State to Pass Plastic Bag Ban

We at OkStraw are excited to announce that Delaware is the newest state to pass a plastic bag ban. Governor John Carney signed House Bill 130 into law on July 29th, which takes effect on January 1st, 2021. Governor Carney also signed in Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 5. SB5 will increase fines for illegal dumping, and establish a Litter Investigation and Enforcement Fund. 

Delaware’s plastic bag ban is the result of Carney’s Keep DE Litter Free, and anti-pollution activists like Dee Durham. Durham is the co-founder of Plastic Free Delaware, and began her fight for a plastic bag ban over a decade ago. OkStraw Paper Straws would like to congratulate Delaware on its fight against plastic waste.

Plastic bags are the fourth most commonly found form of litter around the world

Plastic straws and plastic bags are extremely harmful to marine animals.

According to Durham, less than 10 percent of single-use plastic bags are recycled. The  rest end up in the landfill, on roads, or in waters. According to State Senator Stephanie Hansen, plastic bags are the fourth most commonly found form of litter around the world. Unlike paper bags and paper straws, plastic bags and plastic straws never go away. Once they enter the environment, they are extremely difficult or even impossible to remove. Delaware’s plastic bag ban is a great first step to mitigate this environmental disaster.

Activist Dee Dunham is exploring a plastic straw ban as the next step in her fight against plastic waste. As plastic straw ban and plastic bag bans often go hand-in-hand, this is a natural step to take. Switching from plastic straws to paper straws and bags is one of the easiest ways to lower plastic waste. With high quality paper straw offerings from companies like OkStraw, it’s even easier.

Many Delawareans are already making the switch before the plastic bag ban

On January 1st of 2021, Delawareans will join the other 55 percent of the world’s population, who live under a plastic bag ban. Many Delawareans are already making the switch before the plastic bag ban, going paper or reusable. Citizen participation shows promise for more changes. Delaware could be one step closer to moving away from plastic straws, and switching to more sustainable paper straws.

When the plastic bag ban goes into law, Delaware will join states like New York, Hawaii and California. If Delaware’s fight against plastic waste succeeds, the state could be the first to have a full plastic straw ban. For now, other states have only banned restaurants from handing out straws, unless requested. A full plastic straw ban could make Delaware a small state with a big impact on the Midatlantic region, and the rest of America. Should this happen, the future for the paper straw in its birth region looks bright.

Washington, D.C.’s Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

Washington, D.C. has become the latest in a growing number of cities to outlaw plastic straws. The ban’s grace period ban officially ended on July 1st, and follows a 9-year-old nickel bag tax, and a 3-year-old ban on plastic food containers. Businesses in the District will now have to switch from plastic straws to biodegradable alternatives such as paper straws, or face fines ranging from $100 to $800.

This plastic straw ban took effect over a three-step process. The first step came when the ban became law on October 1st last year, whereby the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) gave a January 1st deadline for businesses to get rid of plastic straws. The second step took place on January 1st, when the DOEE issued warnings for noncompliance. The third and final process began on July 1st, when DC began issuing fines for violations.

So far, D.C. 's plastic straw ban seems to succeed in accommodating people with disabilities.

In order to enforce this ban, the DOEE will conduct inspections at businesses throughout the District; the DOEE conducted similar inspections following the District’s polystyrene takeout container ban. These compliance inspections will occur throughout the year. Customers can tip the DOEE about businesses regularly serving plastic straws instead of legal alternatives like paper straws.

DC will however allow restaurants to carry a limited supply of plastic straws, in order to serve disabled customers who still need to use these straws. These plastic straws will be handed out only by request, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Soon, this exception won’t be necessary, because companies like OkStraw already make paper straw for everyone’s needs.

Washington D.C’s single-use plastic straw ban has so far been met with positive feedback from local businesses

Washington, D.C. has a long history with the drinks straw. It was in the District where in 1888, Marvin Chester Stone received the first patent for a paper straw design, and made the product locally. Over time however, Stone’s biodegradable paper straw became the bendable plastic straw that cannot decompose. Stone’s invention deserves the spotlight, and OkStraw Paper Straws hopes to do him proud.

Washington D.C’s single-use plastic straw ban has so far been met with positive feedback from local businesses. In fact, a number of D.C. businesses phased out plastic straws before the ban went into effect. Establishments like the Greek chain Cava used paper straws for over a year. OkStraw is excited to hear about these early adopters, and their push to take the initiative by switching to paper straws.

paper straw inventor

Paper Straws Compliant with D.C.'s Ban

For businesses and residents in the District, finding a legal alternative is easy as can be. That’s because OkStraw Paper Straws is ready to serve D.C. with our high quality, DOEE-compliant paper straws. OkStraw’s paper straws are certified biodegradable, and are made from foodgrade, organic paper dyes, paper and glue. Our catalog includes ADA-compliant bendy paper straws, Boba Tea paper straws, spoon paper straws and in any custom print option you want. An OkStraw Paper Straw will be the object of envy for every DOEE straw inspector. 

Washington, D.C.’s plastic straw ban follows cities such as Monmouth Beach, New Jersey; Miami Beach, Florida; Seattle, Washington, and a number of coastal cities in California and Florida. A plastic straw ban in the U.S.’s capital city carries the powerful message that the fight against plastic waste is a thoroughly American fight. We at OkStraw welcome our fellow Americans in Washington, D.C. to the Cause for Paper Straws!