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!

McDonald’s “Unrecyclable” Paper Straws

McDonald’s recently admitted that the paper straws it rolled out last year in its UK and Ireland restaurants are not recyclable. This news marks the latest PR snag for the multinational restaurant corporation’s switch from plastic straws. 

McDonald’s replaced plastic straws with biodegradable paper straws at these restaurants in 2018, after other corporations stopped using plastic straws. The switch to paper was also necessary, as the UK government banned single-use plastic straws and drink stirrers. At OkStraw, we understand this issue, but we are not dissuaded from standing behind eco-friendly straws.

McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland is advising people to treat their new straws as waste items.

Using high quality paper straws is a must.

Paper Straw Struggles

McDonald’s paper straw switch had growing pains with its customers. People initially complained that these biodegradable straws were collapsing in milkshakes, and were dissolving too quickly. Photos of McDonald’s-branded drinks with bent, soggy and collapsed straws began spreading across social media platforms.

McDonald’s responded to these complaints by making their biodegradable paper straws thicker, but this caused new problems. These new straws were too thick to be recycled by waste processing machines. McDonald’s announced that it is working with its waste management providers to resolve this issue. Until then, however, McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland is advising people to throw their new straws in the trash.

Single-use plastic straws are almost never recycled

Real Cost of Biodegradable Straws

Critics pointed out that McDonald’s replaced recyclable plastic straws with non-recyclable paper straws. While this may be true in theory, in reality, single-use plastic straws are almost never recycled. Most recycling facilities cannot process plastic straws, because they are too flimsy. Plastic straws end up as trash, and often wreak havoc on our environment.

While some biodegradable straws are not easily recyclable, what they do to the environment is a world of difference from plastic straws. Organic paper that end up in waters safely biodegrades, and does not endanger animals. Plastic straws on the other hand will continue to endanger the wellbeing of marine animals and eventually humans. At OkStraw, we know the real cost of paper straws is far less than plastic straws.

Plastic straws can cause irreparable harm to the environment

McDonald's Sticks to Paper Straws

While some people want McDonald’s to bring back plastic straws, the company is holding steady to its paper commitment. With the UK’s plastic straw ban and growing public support for the ban, McDonald’s is on the right path. 

 

We at OKStraw would like to commend McDonald’s for committing to end plastic waste. Yes, they may face some disapproval, and there will be growing pains. Ultimately, however, the most important things in our lives are the ones worth fighting for. We only have one planet, and keeping it healthy might be the most important of all.

Two Coastal Israeli Cities to Ban Single-Use Plastic from Their Beaches

Two of Israel’s coastal cities, Herzliya and Eilat, have announced plans to ban single-use plastics from their beaches. Banned items include but are not limited to plastic bags, plastic straws, and plastic cutlery. Both cities will be joining a growing list of countries and municipalities around the world’s coasts that have passed similar bans on single-use plastics, including Peru, Chile, and several US states.

The city of Eilat, located on the Red Sea, intends to tackle plastic waste on its beaches through a two-stage plan. This plan includes educating and discouraging local businesses from using plastics, and then enforcing the ban on single-use plastics from its beaches. Plastic water bottles will be exempt from the ban, however. Eilat’s city hall also plans to organize a campaign to raise awareness among residents and visitors about the harmful effects of plastic on marine life and coral reefs. For Eilat, banning single-use plastics from its beaches will be crucial to preserving its world-famous coral reefs that attract divers from around the world. Eilat’s ban on single-use plastics from its beach also coincides with Egypt’s Red Sea Governorate’s ban on all single-use plastics from its beaches by June. With authorities in two different countries announcing bans on single-use plastics from their beaches, there may be a chance for a more aggressive push to eliminate plastic waste from the Red Sea. Eilat is also collaborating with governmental agencies and organizations to educate visitors, residents and business owners about the harmful effects of plastic waste through social media campaigns and billboards.

Herliya’s ban on single-use plastics from its Mediterranean beaches is part of a joint initiative between its local government and the Israeli environmental organization Zalul (“clear”), launched on January 2018. Herzliya’s mayor Moshe Fadlon intends to make his municipality the starting point for a mission to ban single-use plastics across Israel. Fadlon plans to create a ripple effect by encouraging other cities to follow Herzliya, and eventually introducing a national law in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, which will prohibit single-use plastics from the entire country. Israel’s government has taken notice of the growing concern over the harmful effects of plastic on the world’s waters. The Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry’s data estimates that plastics comprise 90 percent of trash in marine environments, with nearly 60 percent of that waste coming from trash thrown onto beaches. The ministry is also looking into investigating how much of the amount of plastic on Israel’s beaches comes from other countries, and how much of that amount is generated within the country. Plastic waste has a tremendous impact on the environment. Not only does plastic waste hurt or kill marine animals and birds that mistake it for food, but this waste can break down into micro-particles that can migrate through the food chain and end up in human bodies.

The new ban on single-use plastics from the beaches of Herzliya and Eilat shows promise, as both cities are tackling plastic pollution in two major bodies of water, as well as taking the steps of raising national awareness through PR and policy campaigns. Should these efforts succeed, Israel may become a world leader in eliminating single-use plastic waste. Tourists visiting Israeli beaches may soon take out lunch from biodegradable fiber cartons, and enjoy their beverages with paper straws instead of their plastic counterparts.

OB Street Fair

As Seen On TV Paper Straws Packs

Carnival agrees to pay $20 million for pollution violations in settlement

Carnival Corp. reached a settlement Monday with federal prosecutors in which the world’s largest cruise line agreed to pay a $20 million penalty because its ships continued to pollute the oceans despite a previous criminal conviction aimed at curbing similar conduct. Senior U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz approved the agreement after Carnival CEO Arnold Donald stood up in open court and admitted the company’s responsibility for probation violations stemming from the previous environmental case.

“The company pleads guilty,” Arnold said six times in a packed courtroom that include other senior Carnival executives, including company chairman and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison. “We acknowledge the shortcomings. I am here today to formulate a plan to fix them,” Arnold added.

“The proof will be in the pudding, won’t it?” the judge replied. “If you all did not have the environment, you would have nothing to sell.”

Carnival admitted to violating terms of probation from a 2016 criminal conviction for discharging oily waste from its Princess Cruise Lines ships and covering it up. Carnival paid a $40 million fine and was put on five years’ probation in that case, which affected all nine of its cruise brands that boast more than 100 ships.

Now Carnival has acknowledged that in the years since its ships have committed environmental crimes such as dumping "gray water" in prohibited places such Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and knowingly allowing plastic to be discharged along with food waste in the Bahamas, which poses a severe threat to marine life.

Now Carnival has acknowledged that in the years since its ships have committed environmental crimes such as dumping “gray water” in prohibited places such Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and knowingly allowing plastic to be discharged along with food waste in the Bahamas, which poses a severe threat to marine life. The company also admitted to falsifying compliance documents and other administrative violations such as having cleanup teams visit its ships just before scheduled inspections.

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Seitz at an earlier hearing threatened to bar Carnival from docking at U.S. ports because of the violations and said she might hold executives individually liable for the probation violations. “The concern I have is that senior management has no skin in the game,” Seitz said, adding that future violations might be met with prison time and criminal fines for individuals. “My goal is to have the defendant change its behavior.”

Under the settlement, Carnival promised there will be additional audits to check for violations, a restructuring of the company’s compliance and training programs, a better system for reporting environmental violations to state and federal agencies and improved waste management practices. The agreement also would set Sept. 13 and Oct. 9 deadlines to create an improved compliance plan and make other changes, subject to fines of $1 million per day if those deadlines are not met.

If a second round of deadlines are not met, the fines could go up to $10 million a day. Other proposed changes include a reduction by Carnival in the use of single-use plastic items across its entire fleet and the creation of “tiger teams” meant to make improvements in the ships’ food and beverage systems and how waste is handled at sea.

Seitz is retiring later this year and is turning over the case to U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro, who jointly presided over Monday’s hearing. Three people who claimed they were victims of Carnival’s environmental violations attended the hearing.

Their attorney, Knoll Lowney, expressed skepticism that Carnival will keep its word this time. “Time and time again, Carnival has shown its contempt of environmental laws and the rule of law,” he said. “Here we are again.”

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Fiesta Island Trash Cleanup

OkStraw Paper Straws is planning to join FIDO (Fiesta Island Dog Owners) for a Trash cleanup at Fiesta Island in Mission Bay, San Diego, on June 9thLet us know if you would like to join the cause!

Clean up will be from 9:30am to 11am.

Volunteers helping with the pick-up: Bring your own gloves if you prefer. FIDO will have single-use latex gloves along with trash bags to fill. If you have a picker-upper, we recommend bringing that too, unless the reason for helping is the wonderful ab exercising!

National Restaurant Association show in Chicago, Illinois

Thanks for visiting us in Chicago!  

To show our thanks and to get our paper straws out to you, we are offering a huge discount for the next week only - Free shipping as well.    Buy 3 cases of our most popular paper straws, get the 4th case Free.  

Coupon Code: NRASHOW99

White Jumbo Unwrapped

Jumbo Cocktail – 6x197mm – 0.24″x7.75″
FREE SHIPPING in the Continental US

Black Jumbo Unwrapped

Jumbo Cocktail – 6x197mm – 0.24″x7.75″
FREE SHIPPING in the Continental US

Purchase any combination of 4 cases of our 5000 piece white or black jumbo paper straws and we'll give you 1 of the cases for free.
If you have any questions or need any assistance in ordering, please call (866)939-3227 or email sales@okstraw.com.

BOOTH #5068

National Restaurant Association show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois

May 18th - 21st 2019

Come get free samples of our paper straws – available when you visit us at booth 5068 at the National Restaurant Association show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.

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  • Assorted Stripes Paper Straws - Jumbo Cocktail

    Sale! $20.00 $9.99
  • Boba Paper Straws - Green Bamboo Diagonal Cut - 4-PLY Unwrapped

    Sale! $14.99$279.99

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‘Mass extinction event’ that could wipe out a million species is already underway, says UN-backed report

'Mass extinction event' that could wipe out a million species is already underway, says UN-backed report

The report comes after a week-long meeting of experts from 50 countries in Paris. They  warn that a “mass extinction event” precipitated by human activities is already underway – the first such event since dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid 66 million years ago. Scientists say that in total, our planet has experienced five previous mass extinctions in the past half-billion years; this sixth wave would be the first caused by humans.

The report calls for urgent changes in government policies to limit environmental damage and climate change, but will also recommend that families or individuals sponsor beekeepers near their homes, for a cost of less than $100 a year. Bee populations are falling but they are essential to pollinate crops and food supplies depend on them.

Eating organic food is another way to preserve fast shrinking insect populations. The report says the reason your car windscreen is no longer covered in dead insects after a long drive is because pesticides have wiped out nearly 80 per cent of Europe’s winged insects over the past three decades. The decline has also reduced bird numbers by nearly a third, because there are no longer enough insects for them to eat. If insects disappear, vegetable and fruit crops will fail because they won’t be pollinated.

The report also renews calls to give up plastic straws. Americans alone use 500 million a day, but they end up in the sea and harm fish and marine animals.

The report also renews calls to give up plastic straws. Americans alone use 500 million a year, but they end up in the sea and harm fish and marine animals.

People can help save endangered species through adoption, it says; a chimpanzee, for example, can be sponsored for a donation to WWF of around $60 a year.

Eating less meat will also help to preserve forests, the experts say. Livestock and agriculture cause deforestation in many parts of the world because trees are cut down to make way for pasture or to grow crops. In the Amazon, some 63 per cent of deforestation stems from livestock farming. But neither should you turn to tofu — soya growing is also a major culprit in the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest.

The report warns that “half a million to a million species are projected to be threatened with extinction, many within decades.”

Robert Watson, chair of the group that drafted the report, said: “The loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is already a global and generational threat to human well-being. Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge for decades to come.”

Species are being lost because of shrinking habitats, illegal hunting, climate change and pollution, campaigners say.

The report has been prepared over three years for a cost of more than £1.8 million by “150 leading international experts from 50 countries, balancing representation from the natural and social sciences, with additional contributions from a further 310 experts,” according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Known officially as the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, it draws on nearly 15,000 references including scientific papers and government data.

It is backed up by an open letter urging world leaders to act immediately, signed by nearly 600 scientists, business leaders, environmentalists and public figures, including Jane Goodall, the primatologist and conservationist, and Chris Packham, the naturalist and television presenter.

Maine becomes the first state to ban Styrofoam

Maine becomes the first state to ban Styrofoam

Food containers made of Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene, will be officially banned from businesses in Maine after governor Janet Mills signed a bill into law Tuesday.

The law, which will go into effect January 1, 2021, prohibits restaurants, caterers, coffee shops and grocery stores from using the to-go foam containers because they cannot be recycled in Maine.

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Maine has become the first state to take such a step as debate about banning plastic bags or other disposable products is spreading across the nation.
 
While states like New York and California have banned single-use plastic bags, others such as Tennessee and Florida have made it illegal for local municipalities to regulate them.
 
Maryland’s legislature also has approved bills to ban polystyrene, but it’s unclear whether Republican Gov. Larry Hogan will sign the legislation. Democratic Delegate Brooke Lierman, the primary sponsor of the Maryland House bill, said banning foam products was the first step to curbing people’s reliance on single-use plastics.
 
“Polystyrene cannot be recycled like a lot of other products, so while that cup of coffee may be finished, the Styrofoam cup it was in is not,” Mills said in a statement to CNN affiliate WMTW. “In fact, it will be around for decades to come and eventually it will break down into particles, polluting our environment, hurting our wildlife, and even detrimentally impacting our economy.”

Maine has become the first state to take such a step as debate about banning plastic bags or other disposable products is spreading across the nation.

The Maine law, originally proposed by Rep. Stanley Zeigler (D-Montville), also applies to plastic beverage stirrers.
 
Those who violate the law could face a fine of up to $100, News Center Maine reports.
“Maine has proven itself an environmental leader once again, this time in eliminating disposable foam containers that have become a common, costly, and deadly form of plastic pollution,” said Sarah Lakeman, Sustainable Maine Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), in a statement.
“With the threats posed by plastic pollution becoming more apparent, costly, and even deadly to wildlife, we need to be doing everything possible to limit our use and better manage our single-use plastics — starting with eliminating the use of unnecessary forms like plastic foam.”
 
The NRCM reports that plastic foam food containers are among the top 10 most commonly littered items in the US.
 
More than 256 million pieces of disposable foam cups, plates, bowls, platters, and trays are used every year in Maine, the NRCM says.
Some 15 towns in the state have already banned foam food containers, it says.
 
The reason why Styrofoam is difficult to clean up is that it easily breaks into smaller pieces, according to Ashley Van Stone, executive director of Trash Free Maryland.
Foam also absorbs toxins faster than other plastics and is mistaken for food by marine life, Van Stone said. And the toxins that wildlife consumes makes its way up the food chain into people.

Biologists find trash in belly of stranded baby dolphin

Biologists find trash in belly of stranded baby dolphin

ByTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A rare deep-water dolphin stranded on a Florida beach and later euthanized had a stomach full of trash.

Biologists said they found two plastic bags and a shredded balloon during a necropsy of the young rough-toothed dolphin after it washed ashore in Fort Myers Beach earlier this week.

Biologists said they found two plastic bags and a shredded balloon

Animal experts said the rough-toothed dolphin was emaciated and in poor health. Florida Today reports such a young dolphin should have still been with its mother but somehow wound up far from her deep-water home. Biologists and bystanders worked to help the struggling animal, but wildlife official decided to euthanize the dolphin on-site.

Scientists are still trying to find a cause of death but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the finding highlights the need to reduce single-use plastic and to not release balloons into the environment.