With Earth Day behind us, there is a strong buzz of new sustainability practices. It’s trendy, hip and important to be green—and surveys show attendees and guests give weight to hotels and event properties doing their part to protect resources. The same goes for meetings. Give your attendees a reason to brag about your eco-friendly event (without breaking the bank) by adding a little something extra to your food and beverage menu—alternative straws.
More than 500 million plastic straws are used each day in the United States, and according to a World Economic Forum study, we are on track to living in a world with more plastic straws than fish in the ocean by 2050. A movement has emerged to ban these straws and replace them with reusable or biodegradable alternatives, like straws made out of paper, metal, bamboo or glass, and straws that can fold to fit in your pocket or on your key chain. And then there are edible straws. Remember when you slurped your soda through your Red Vine licorice? While that is still a (very) viable option, these edible straws will have your attendees thinking they stepped into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for a tasty treat.
The city of Malibu passed a ban on plastic straws that goes into effect June 1. Some local eateries were thrilled with this ban, but others were weary of the increased costs to replace these straws. Paradise Cove Café saw this as an opportunity to showcase two simple ingredients: water and flour. Tested in all types of drinks over multiple hours, these noodles hold their form and allow liquid to pass through as easily as any straw. If margarita-flavored al dente pasta isn’t for you, these eco-friendly straws can be discarded the same way as last night’s spaghetti. Match a drink with an Italian menu for dinner to make your attendees feel savvy and supportive.
Although you can find similar straws elsewhere, Seattle-based coffee giants Starbucks has had a hold on the cookie straw market since releasing their straws in 2015. These chocolaty rolled wafers come in signature Frappuccino flavors, and help to save the world. Add these to your dessert menu with a milk shake, or as a sugar kick for breakfast with an iced latte.
Designers Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann appeared on the television show “Shark Tank” with an idea for edible, flavored cups. Now the two are working to release a flavored, edible straw to go along with their currently sold out cups, which come in tart cherry, yuzu citrus, matcha green tea and vanilla bean. Straw flavors are sure to be just as unique (and eco-friendly).