Among other leading brands, Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans is implementing Footprint’s paper straws. To meet increasing sales, Gilbert-based Footprint is set to produce more than 10 percent of American’s daily use of straws at its HACCP food-safe factories.
By replacing plastic straws with Footprint’s bio-degradable, compostable and marine-safe paper alternative, brands working with Footprint are among those leading the demand to eliminate single-use plastics.
“Our mission is to provide accessible alternatives that large, global brands can successfully use to replace plastic,” explains Troy Swope, founder and CEO of Footprint. “Replacing plastic straws will make a profound impact as they are among frequently found items in marine pollution. We are eliminating plastic pollution from getting into the water that is killing dolphins, whales and other marine life.”
Footprint straws are made in three sizes with specially engineered paper for optimum straw performance—eliminating the quality concerns associated with inferior paper straws. They are engineered to be strong over days of use and still break down completely in 90 days or less.
Further, since they function well as a plastic alternative, Footprint paper straws are for establishments still interested in providing straws for their customers rather than banning straws altogether.
Swope adds, “Our paper straws are designed to stand up to typical consumer use. They’re going to last a whole weekend at the beach, if they happen to get into the ocean they’ll break down completely in 90 days—all restaurants and grocery stores should switch.”
They are PFAS-free, FDA-approved, sustainably-sourced and made in the United States. Consumers prefer paper straws given the environmental impact of plastic, and are demanding change.
Studies show buying with environmental ideals in mind is now mainstream. Marie Stafford, European Director at J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group said its research covered consumers over 18 in the United Kingdom, U.S., China and Australia, and explains, “We are seeing the rise of a more mindful consumer, who wants their spending to reflect their personal values. Shopping consciously is now a mainstream mindset. Given the choice, 87 percent of our respondents prefer to buy from brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. And, 92 percent of our panel already believes that a sustainable approach to business should just be the standard. Brands will need to quickly adapt to these evolving consumer expectations to avoid losing relevance.”
In an Earth Day announcement last week, Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans packaging and sustainability manager said, “We’re taking measurable steps to improve and implement programs that increase our recycling rate, minimize waste, and help make a difference in every community we serve.”
In addition to supplying Wegmans and other leading brands’ straws, Footprint also develops, designs and manufactures other proprietary and patented products such as paper bowls, trays, cups and packaging that enable companies to eliminate plastic.
Swope says, “We are inspired by companies like Wegmans, Starbucks and Universal Studios declaring they will be free of plastic straws and it is our mission to provide a clear path to any brand hoping to achieve that goal without sacrificing performance and customer experience.”
The demand for Footprint paper straws has also led the company to develop a soon-to-be-announced e-commerce website dedicated to getting straws quickly to the global companies pledging to replace plastic straws or in response to legislation banning them altogether. Until then, you can order at email@example.com
In July 2018, Seattle was the first large United States city to ban plastic straws, and on January 1, 2019, Washington D. C. followed, while globally Scotland pledges to eliminate plastic straws by 2019, and Taiwan is banning all single-use plastic including straws by 2030.
Wegmans also announced that it will eliminate single-use grocery bags in all of its New York state stores by the end of 2019 in response to the state’s plastic shopping bag ban set to go into effect in 2020.