Sep 26th, 23

0 min read

A Strawless California

By Marina Tran-Vu


On September 20, 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Bill AB-1884 making single-use plastic straws only available upon request. The bill took effect in California on Jan. 1, 2019. Since this change, schools, businesses, cities, and even entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to reach for a strawless California in 2021. A few companies and entrepreneurs have taken on this challenge and are coming up with better alternatives to plastic straws:

Edible Straws

A recently highlighted entrepreneur has created an edible licorice straw - designed to help the city of San Francisco reduce the number of single-use straws found on the beaches and in the bay. While a whimsical concept, the licorice straw is perhaps not the most logical solution to a strawless state; with longevity, flavor, and stickiness issues (to name a few), the licorice straw may be better suited for the young generation of California.

Reusable Straws

Many other businesses have taken on the task of designing a reusable straw that is safe for your teeth, healthy/food-grade materials, cleanable, and easily carried around. A conjunction of requirements not easy to work with. Many bar and restaurant customers are fed up with the new law, not because they are anti-ocean, but because they are frustrated by the fact that their reusable straws keep getting accidentally cleaned up and taken away when they finish a drink, that they are expected to carry around and clean their own straws after each use, that it is extremely difficult to actually clean a reusable straw in a hygienic way, and that if they decide to ask for a straw in a restaurant the “straw police” customers around them might just go off on how many turtles they are killing with that straw.
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Removing Straws

The big-name coffee company Starbucks has designed new strawless lids that allow for both hot and cold drink sipping without the use of a plastic straw. The lids became available to many Starbucks stores in 2019 as part of their push to be completely rid of the plastic straw by the end of 2020. The problem with the Starbucks lid is two-fold; the first issue is spillage! These sippy-cup style lids are much more prone to spilling when you hit a bump while driving or even when you go to take a sip from the cup. The second issue is that we can’t just simply get rid of straws! There are several scenarios where people simply need a straw; anyone that has had a stroke, some people with autism, those with MS, or other life-changing or physical issues in which a straw is most helpful. So while these specialty cups and whimsical straws are a start, they are not the final solution to our straw issue. The other major issue with this solution is that the supply cup lids actually contain more plastic than the straw lid combo!

The Real Single Use Straw Solution: EQUO Straws

At EQUO, we aim to provide not only consumers with a better solution, but businesses like restaurants, and bars with a realistic solution as well. EQUO makes 5 different types of biodegradable straws including grass straws, rice straws, biodegradable sugarcane straws, coffee straws, coconut straws. They can each be used for several hours at a time without sacrificing structural integrity. Once finished, these compostable straws take less than 3 months to completely biodegrade. With sizing options for cocktails, hot drinks, boba, smoothies, and more!If you are wondering where to buy biodegradable straws or how to buy biodegradable straws in bulk, EQUO is the solution for any business or consumer looking to take plastic straws out of the picture.
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