In light of the pandemic, there has been an increased emphasis on cleanliness and health, which has brought awareness away from the importance of green and sustainable products. One company that has not lost their focus on green and sustainability is City Straws. With their new suite of products, they’ve created the best sustainable solution to a modern restaurant issue.
“We created City Straws to answer the material problem caused by single-use petroleum-based drinking straws, as well as soggy paper straws,” said City Straws Founder Andrew Hargest. “The first solution to the problem of plastic drinking straws were paper ones, which made us feel good, for a bit… Unfortunately, we have found that the paper straws are not as functional as we would like. They disintegrate into your drink; they absorb moisture, and they can only last so long. City Straws came to fruition following scientific innovation with sustainability as the mission.
“City Straws are made using a material called PHA, which is a 100% plant-based bio-polymer,” Hargest continued. “This bio-polymer, which is derived from the canola seed, acts like your petroleum-based plastics while being 100 percent plant-based making it the top choice for both restaurateurs and environmental advocates. The main innovation of our material is that it is ambient compostable, which means that it does not need oxygen to break down and can even be composted in your vegetable garden. Even if our product goes to a landfill, it will biodegrade, which makes our straws the perfect answer to the question of end-of-life disposal.”
For those wondering how the use of City Straws can impact their bottom line when compared to other sustainable options, Hargest has the answer. “We are fortunately positioned from a price point where we are right in between paper straws and regular plastic straws, which are banned by New York City and several other cities around the country,” said Hargest.
“If you look at a quality paper straw compared to our product, our product will not only function better than paper, but it is more sustainable, and it is competitive on a cost per pound basis. That’s why I’m so excited about this product, because it allows us the opportunity to solve restaurant owner’s frustrations with environmental regulations, by delivering them a great product that is eco-friendly and cost efficient.”
In addition to being an affordable sustainable straw option, City Straws can also benefit a restaurant in other ways. “If having eco-friendly straws benefits or adds to their story, they should promote it,” said Hargest. “The thing I always say is no one loses customers by going green. No one decides to not return to a restaurant because they use eco-friendly materials. It creates talking points, it is something that a bartender or another staff member can use to engage with a customer and explain your business’ decision to invest in quality products that create a better customer experience, without negatively impacting the local environment.”
As for how City Straws will deliver their product to customers, Hargest has the answer. “By having ownership of the brand and product, we have complete control over how City Straws goes to market. This means creating the right environment for partnerships throughout the supply chain,” said Hargest. “Most people are surprised when we tell them that we manufacture everything right here on the East Coast. Compared to other companies who mostly import goods from China, our supply chain is faster and more resilient than most. It’s great for us because it creates a triple-win scenario, end users receive affordable prices and a great product, distributors make a healthy margin, and the third winner is the environment. Our goal is to swap out all of the plastic and paper straws in New York City, it can only be achieved through community buy-in, distributor partnerships, and execution from our end.”
For those who are looking to switch to an environmentally conscious, sustainable, affordable and high-quality replacement for single use plastic straws, more information on City Straws can be found online at their website.