Natalie Neokorides - Straws For A Cause
Straws for a Cause, a start-up social enterprise on a mission to help Africa say goodbye to plastic straws, for good.
We are Straws for a Cause, a start-up social enterprise on a mission to help Africa say goodbye to plastic straws, for good. We believe in making a difference - because we can. We supply establishments with eco straws and donate 50% of our profits to the Sustainable Seas Trust. Why are we not an NPO? Our business objectives are to educate, empower and eradicate. All three are co-dependent objectives, which require money. Money which we don’t expect to get from donors or government organisations. We are happy to work to fight the good fight. We do not draw a salary, but use profits to buy more stock, reach more restaurants and grow the cause.
Because we believe that there is no such thing as a small good deed. That each drop of goodness adds up to an ocean, alive with rolling waves of change. We have an eco straw to suit everyone’s taste and budget. We love and support the #refusethestraw campaign - no straw is still that best option. That said, we think that asking people to abstain without offering an alternative is asking for trouble. That is why we provide restaurant owners with not only straws, but also a way for them to encourage their customers to pay for their own straws. Because we donate 50% of our profits to the Sustainable Seas Trust, customers can slurp and save the sea at the same time. Suck without sucking so to speak.
How did our idea come about? Well, we realised that most restaurant owners are reluctant to make the switch to paper straws because they are so much more expensive. So we needed a little motivator, a way to get their customers to share the cost. We did a survey and found out that: 90% of respondents fully support the ban on plastic straws.86% of respondents are more likely to support an establishment that uses eco-friendly straws and packaging. And…76% of respondents would be open to adding on a small amount to their bill for a paper straw if a portion of the proceeds went to an antipollution ocean charity.
We have only just begun and already we have replaced almost 50 000 plastic straws with paper ones. No profits just yet, but we are on our way to doing a good thing and using the mula to educate the public, through the African Marine Waste Network. What makes us unique? We like to think that we are providing a practical, economically viable solution to a mainstream problem. We believe that is the only way to change things. By thinking big and making eco-alternatives more attractive to both restaurant owners and their cutomers.
Thanks for taking the time to read our application. See you in the sea!
For more info, check out www.strawsforacause.co.za