Three-Step Straw Initiative
Straw integrity addresses usage, content and disposal
As plastic-straw usage reduction gains high-profile media attention, Ei partnered with Ei Strategic Ally One More Generation (OMG) | One Less Straw (OLS) for the Three-Step Straw Initiative (TSSI) with a slated early summer 2019 launch. Beyond plastic-straw usage reduction, TSSI addresses the straw content and end-of-life destination and aligns with Ei Era of Regeneration Soil Health and Water Use | Toxicity platforms.
The TSSI includes the following steps:
• Step 1- REDUCE straw usage
• Step 2 – SHIFT to paper straws
• Step 3 – COMPOST used straws
OMG will encourage OLS participants to further decrease their straw-usage impact by joining the TSSI and shifting from plastic to paper straws. If there is food-waste collection for compost available, OLS participants are encouraged to engage in food-waste collection. Thus, the paper straws contribute to local, quality compost versus another material filling up the landfills or worse the waterways.
Ei-recruited participants are required to take the OLS pledge as their first TSSI step.
OLS 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.
The TSSI is a perfect avenue for former Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ) participants to take their sustainability commitment to the next level. For ZWZ participants, Step 3 – COMPOST is already in place. Thus, cost-neutral Steps 1 & 2 are an easy-to-implement endeavor.
The RiA Magazine article, Three Steps to Straw Integrity, substantiates the microplastic-pollution crisis and introduces the TSSI.
An “easy-win” first step in eradicating single-use plastic food & beverage packaging
The TSSI Team consists of a trusted team with deep-rooted Ei relationships:
- Holly Elmore – Ei Founder
- Tim Trefzer – Ei Leadership & GA World Congress Center Director of Sustainability
- Matt Roach – Levy Restaurants GWCCA Executive Chef
- Kim Charick – EPA Region 4 Physical Scientist
The TSSI Team is meeting with ZWZ Participants and other strong industry connections to secure their Founding TSSI Participant status.
Throughout 2019 TSSI enthusiasm was always strong in intro meetings with ZWZ participants and long-time hospitality industry friends. Working closely with Levy Restaurants, Ei met extensively with national distributor Imperial Dade to secure GPS distribution. The first GPS order was placed in October 2019 and second before year end.
With the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating impact on the global hospitality community, the TSSI is in a holding pattern for an unspecified time period.