Plastic drinking straws seem too small, too inconsequential, to be bothered about in our need to protect our environment. Except that Americans use from 170 million to 390 million straws every day. That’s huge. Multiply that by 365 days, and straws become a mammoth force to be reckoned with. They can’t be recycled and they don’t decompose. They simply break into tinier and tinier pieces that wildlife mistake for food or ingest accidentally. Plastic blocks the digestive track, preventing our planet-mates from being able to eat life-sustaining food and condemning them to a slow and painful death due to starvation. Unless a ruptured GI tract kills them first.
Thanks to Emma Cohen and Miles Pepper, we don’t have to be a part of that problem. The solution is having our own, totally cool FinalStraw: portable, collapsible, reusable. Emma and Miles are co-founders of FinalStraw. Emma grew up environmentally conscious, and while in college at the University of California, Santa Barbara, joined the anti-plastic bag movement.
During a trip to Thailand, she saw plastic straws littering the beautiful beach. She’d pick them up; the next day, the tide dumped more onto the sand. Her mission since then has been to rid the environment of plastic straws. Emma earned a Master’s degree in environmental management and sustainability from Harvard, and in 2017, she met Miles, a cinematographer, environmental activist and an ingenious inventor with a vision of a reusable straw. They joined forces, Miles designing the prototype and Emily doing market and product research.
The FinalStraw is 9 inches long, triple-jointed stainless steel and folds neatly into a stylish carrying case made from recycled plastic. The case is about the size and shape of the key fob we use with newer cars (3” x 1.25” and weighs less than 3 ounces) and goes right on your key ring so that you always have it with you. Or you can tuck it away in your pocket or purse. The case also contains a handy mini-squeegee to clean the inside of the straw, which is made from medical grade TPE tubing. FinalStraw can be used with cold or hot beverages and even with thick drinks such as smoothies and milkshakes. It’s dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
In addition to the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to make our planet more sustainable, you have the opportunity to spread the message. Included in the FinalStraw package are Ambassador Cards to leave at restaurants and bars as gentle reminders to only serve straws when a customer requests one.