Ex-straw-dinary: Collapsible, reusable straw smashes Kickstarter target

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

FinalStraw collapsible, reusable straw smashes Kickstarter target

Related tags Plastic plastic straws Innovation Sustainability

FinalStaw – a collapsible, resusable straw – set out to raise $12,000 on Kickstarter. Within seven days it had gained $550,000 from more than 11,000 backers. Co-founder Emma Cohen says this proves that people do care about the planet and want to see change.

The straw folds up to the size of a car key and fits in a case that can fit into a purse or pocket. It is BPA free, dishwasher safe, and comes with its own cleaning squeegee.

FinalStraw’s mission is to ‘reduce plastic straw use by giving people a convenient, collapsible, reusable alternative. In doing do, we hope to make the public more aware of the devastating effects of plastic pollution.’

'This little straw has a big mission'

Americans throw away 500m straws every day, which cannot be recycled. Momentum has been growing globally to curb their use: Seattle, Malibu and Miami Beach have banned their use, while the UK is considering doing the same. Drinks companies such as Bacardi, Diageo and Pernod Ricard have also pledged to stop using plastic straws and stirrers in their businesses.

Made of stainless steel and medical-grade TPE for the tubing, the straw weighs 2.8 oz and fits in a case 7.3cm x 3.3cm x2.7cm. The case can be attached to key rings or kept in pockets or bags. 

When taking the straw out of the case it ‘self-assembles like magic’, ​unfolding into a 23cm straw (watch the video on the Kickstarter campaign​)

Emma Cohen, who earned a masters in environmental management and sustainability at Harvard and has spent the last four years employed in the pollution prevention department at Los Almos National Laboratories, says the interest in FinalStraw proves that people do want a solution to plastic waste.

“Of course, I was obsessed with our invention but I had no idea the world was going to show a similar level of obsession,” ​she told BeverageDaily. “We are completely blown away at the success of FinalStraw and incredibly grateful for all of the support. Working in sustainability is tough, it is really easy to get depressed. But, this project has shown me that people do care, they want change, and that we can all work together to solve the problems we have created.” 

The idea of the FinalStraw was envisioned by Miles Pepper and the team, which includes Pepper, Cohen and Jessica Girard, started working on the idea in October. Having received the necessary support on Kickstarter, pilot production is due to start in September with the straw available from November.

“We believe that every product sold should have a life-time warranty, so that is what we did with FinalStraw. Products these days are designed to break, and then end up as landfill or litter. We want to provide products that people can trust and rely on for a lifetime.”

The Kickstarter campaign​ closes on May 19. 

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