I think one of the biggest statistics that I see that drives me nuts is that plastic straws decompose in 500 years.
That's not true.
The fact is that we use too many straws.
No one had taken any time or thought to really reinvent something as simple as a drinking straw so I did.
The turtle video was the sort of turning point for the rest of my life.
Is it a straw?
Don't tell me it's a freaking straw.
It's this very intense eight minute video of a straw being pulled out of a turtle's nose by these researchers.
It was like I was sitting in a movie theater watching this big projection.
You can see the pain on this animal's face and it really made me think about what if that was a straw that I had used.
That video went viral and it really is what kicked off the straw movement.
Just after I was doing all these runs and I heard about the plastic straw bans in Seattle and I realized that I have a reusable water bottle but I don't have a reusable straw.
And the reason I don't have a reusable straw is because they're this long and I would never carry one around with me and therefore I would never use it.
And what I really wanted was a collapsible straw that was small enough that I could take anywhere that I went.
I was working with a friend of mine and she put me in touch with Emma because Emma was the straw girl who absolutely hated plastic straws.
So he calls me up completely out of the blue and he's like hey I've got this like crazy idea for a collapsible straw.
And I'm like okay cool like I'm into this idea because it at least is solving a problem.
So I quit my job in January of 2018 and went full straw.
We decided to run a Kickstarter project and we decided to make a company.
When we launched the Kickstarter on April 18th it was just two of us, no PR firms, no marketing.
Final straw folds up to the size of a car key and fits in a sexy case.
We're asking for $12,500.
We started seeing another sale and then another sale, and then boom boom boom boom boom.
In the 30 days that it ran, we raised just under 2 million.
Of all the plastic ever created, less than 9% is recycled and then less than 1% is recycled more than once.
What if recycling isn't the answer?
So we're here at this recycling facility to show what actually happens to materials when you throw them in the recycling bin.
Everything that comes from waste management that comes from the curbside load will end up on this band and it's their job to grab everything that's recyclable and at the end is where the trash goes out.
So what happens to items like straws that are too small to be recycled?
Straw would definitely end up in the trash because this band is moving and they're not gonna grab it.
You know they're wearing gloves to protect their hands from glass and things.
They're too small.
Yeah they're too small.
To see the amount of energy that goes into making things and then the amount of energy that goes into disassembling and throwing away those things.
Like every little choice that we make every day has a much bigger impact than most people really realize.
When you throw something away it seems like it disappears from the earth, but the fact is that future generations are going to be dealing with our plastic and it's not fair, it's not fair to them.
I mean truly if there was any takeaway from hearing our story it would be to inspire others to do the same.