NEW YORK—Equo Straws, the versatile eco-friendly alternative to plastic and paper straws, are now available on Kickstarter. They are biodegradable, uniquely functional to suit different tastes and behaviors, and made from all-natural ingredients.
The Equo Team strove to produce a range of what is possible in the development of eco-friendly straws through the company’s innovative use of materials from nature.
The multi-colored Equo Straws’ product line includes four choices with unique characteristics:
- Rice Straws—Made from rice and tapioca starch and available in plant-based, natural colors including white, green, pink, blue, yellow (After use, these can be cooked down and are fully edible).
- Dried Grass Straws—Made from naturally tube-shaped grass and available in green (also a natural chew/tug-of-war toy for pets, or crunch them if fidgety, to get the same satisfaction as popping bubble wrap).
- Coconut Straws—Made from fermented coconut water, offering a tropical twist on an everyday product, and available in ivory white with a cool textured design.
- Sugarcane Straws—Made from sugarcane, with a light sweet aroma, and available in a variety of sizes (including wide sizes for specialty drinks/bubble tea). Available in light brown (speckled), and washable for reuse within one day.
“It’s well known that plastic straws are harmful for the environment, with most of the 500 million used every day in America ending up in oceans where they pollute water and kill marine life,” said Equo Co-Founder and Managing Director Marina Tran-Vu. “Although there are some plastic and paper straw alternatives on the market, most are environmentally harmful through the carbon footprint they make in production and disposal, and we were also unsatisfied with the quality and durability of paper straws.”
In addition to their positive ecological impact, Tran-Vu says they wanted to ensure Equo Straws were competitively priced to give consumers an affordable alternative to environmentally harmful straws.
“We continually reduce the pricing on our products by actively working with manufacturing facilities to invest in automation and increase production capacity to drive efficiencies,” she said. “Overall, we want to make sure if we offer an alternative to paper and/or plastic that it is realistic both in cost and supply. We don’t want cost to be the main reason why people can’t select a better alternative.”
Tran-Vu, who previously worked in brand management for a variety of consumer goods and services companies including Unilever, LG Electronics, SpinMaster and Bacardi, was inspired to build a sustainable future for her nephew while working to support local economic growth and job creation in her parents’ hometown in Vietnam.
“Traveling the world and seeing the massive amount of plastic and garbage in the forests, oceans, beaches and sidewalks breaks my heart,” she said. “I really want future generations to have a chance at experiencing a better Earth. Also, after returning to Vietnam, I wanted to create jobs for local farming communities just like where my parents grew up…and sourcing from communities like this gives them a steady income.”
Origin of Product Name
The name of the product was created by combining the words “ECO,” meaning not harmful to the environment, and “STATUS QUO,” meaning an existing state or condition—so “EQUO” stands for the ideal of creating functional products with minimal impact to the environment.
Finally, she notes that, for many people, using a straw is necessary.
“Some people simply don’t have a choice to not use straws because of medical reasons…and albeit as a more personal choice, some people use straws to keep their lipstick/makeup in place or for dental reasons,” she said. “Whatever the reason, we want people to have the freedom of choice. Equo’s line of products means they will have more environmentally-conscious options at their disposal and can continue to use straws, and won’t have to use sippy cup lids or risk spillage.”
Straws are the first in a line of products the company plans to introduce to replace single-use plastics.
For more information and to purchase Equo Straws at an early-bird discount during crowdfunding, visit the Equo Straws Campaign Page on Kickstarter.