We, Kevin and Daniel, are two boys in their mid-twenties from Hamburg who have been dealing with the worldwide "plastic problem" for several years. During a semester abroad in Indonesia in 2017, we experienced with our own eyes how beaches, seas, and whole islands suffer from the increasing littering. There we concluded that we in Europe have to change something as well.
Inspired by local initiatives fighting for a plastic-free Indonesia, we in Germany would also like to pay more attention to the topic, promote plastic alternatives and help to ensure that we live up to our role as global pioneers. Our #IAMPLASTICFREE drinking straws made from biogenic waste materials are the first of these initiatives. A smart alternative to the plastic drinking straw, which is in no way inferior to it. But this should only be the beginning.
While on Instagram & Co. almost exclusively pictures of dreamlike white beaches and turquoise-blue water are posted, the reality, unfortunately, looks too often different: Coral reefs wrapped in plastic bags, beach sections sinking into the garbage, and sea creatures dying an agonizing death due to plastic particles.
The picture was taken by us on December 11, 2017, and shows Kuta Beach on Bali. Especially in the rainy season, when the weather gets a little bit rougher, the sea washes up a lot of (plastic) garbage overnight. The beach sections are then cleaned by hotel staff in the morning hours so that guests are not confronted with the problem. However, they are reaching their limits. Indonesian island is overstrained with the amount of garbage, which is why the government declared a "waste emergency" for the first time in 2018.
But not only Indonesia but also other parts of the world suffer from the plastic flood. In spring 2019, Kevin traveled to India and supported the Pratishta Foundation, a non-profit organization in Dehradun, north of New Delhi, for several weeks. Here, children from poor backgrounds are supported by educational and care services and can exchange ideas with other children.
Kevin experienced first-hand how the plastic problem affects people and animals in everyday life. Roads that lead through mountains of garbage, rivers that are used as sewers and children playing together with animals next to huge garbage dumps. The first few days were quite a "culture shock". Where do you start? With education!
As part of the volunteering project, Kevin taught the children about recycling, waste disposal, the handling and consequences of plastic and other environmental issues. The feedback from the little ones encouraged us. They took all the information with interest.
At the end of his trip, he planted various vegetable seeds together with the children, which will help the organization and the children's understanding of their environment in the long term.
The European Parliament is moving forward and in October 2018 decided that plastic drinking straws will be banned in the EU by 2021. So now is the right time to switch to an alternative. Our #IAMPLASTICFREE straws are more than a simple alternative product. We see our 100% plastic-free and 100% industrially compostable straws as a statement! Therefore we communicate our slogan #IAMPLASTICFREE openly on the straws.
Caterers who join us position themselves directly and clearly in the debate for a plastic-free environment. And at the same time, thanks to the attached hashtag, the drinking straw becomes a charming marketing tool by encouraging guests to share photos of the drink and straw in their social networks, thus generating attention for the respective partner and the topic. A win-win situation.
So let's work together now to make sure
that our planet will be littered with less plastic!
#IAMPLASTICFREE - ARE YOU?