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May 15, 2018

Disposable plastic straws are a huge polluter. This keychain could change that

by John_A

Every single day, Americans throw away an estimated 500 million single-use plastic straws, many of which wind up in landfills or the ocean without being recycled. A new handy portable implement aims to do something about that — and in a way that’s as stylish as it is eco-friendly. Called FinalStraw, it’s a keychain that transforms into a washable, reusable stainless steel straw.

“In 2013, I was in Thailand and noticed that the beach was covered in straws,” co-creator Emma Cohen told Digital Trends. “I’d pick them up every morning, and by the next morning there would be a fresh batch discarded by people who’d order drinks and carelessly discarded the straws on the pristine beach. Once you’re aware of how much of the trash in the world is made up of single-use straws, you start to notice them everywhere you look. My obsession led me to do a TEDx talk on plastic straws in 2015. Then in October 2017, I was introduced to Miles Pepper, who had a brilliant idea for a travel-friendly reusable straw. I was still working in the pollution prevention division of Los Alamos National Laboratories, in New Mexico, but I was ready for a change. I left my job and started working with Miles on the project full time.”

The project has now arrived on Kickstarter, offering customers the opportunity to get their hands (and, presumably, mouth) on the steel straw.

“FinalStraw is great for anyone who wants to reduce their plastic waste and still suck,” Pepper told us. “Lots of people have reusable water bottles, but up until now, reusable straws were too big and bulky to carry around all of the time. FinalStraw solves these problems. [Plus], whipping this sucker out is a pretty cool party trick!”

As ever, we offer warnings about the risks of pledging money as part of crowdfunding campaigns. However, if you still wish to go ahead, you can head over to FinalStraw’s Kickstarter page for more information. There are just a few days to get involved, though, so you’ll have to be quick. Prices start at $20, with an estimated shipping date set for November 2018. Despite asking for a relatively meager $12,500, the project is currently sitting at around the $1.5 million mark. Converted into orders, that may be a bit shy of the daily 500 million plastic straws mark, but it’s not a bad start.

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