This week our group was part of the Windward Community Forum in the Windward gym. Here we presented our whole Science project and new learnings we have found from our process to the Windward Community. We set up our poster and kept a batch of food grade silicone straws at school to be able to use them in our presentation. People came to our station asking about our project, progress, and work.
With our data and work displayed on the poster we brought we used that to anchor our answers to the community’s questions Also, we used the poster as a visual representation for our project along with our extra straws being the interactive element. We presented our data and a sample of our food grade reusable straws that we distributed to Pono Burger, along with the pipe cleaners used to clean the inside of the straws. Of course, we also presented our poster with our whole science project displayed. Our poster showed our problem, solution, data, and next steps. We allowed everyone that came to our table to touch and feel the straws, showing their quality and innovation.
Throughout this whole CBL Forum experienced we learned that it was very important to be be very informed on our project, and know the ins and outs of the statistics that revolve around our problem and solution, including our data and facts on the waste of single use plastic straws. In the end, we prepared by reviewing our data and facts on our science project, the amount of plastic straws used each day by Pono Burger, the amount of plastic straws used everyday in Los Angeles, and the amount of reusable plastic straws that we distributed to Pono Burger. Besides that we, reflected on our Journey and how we got to where we are.
This week we implemented our solution, distributing our reusable food grade silicone straws with success! Our final implementation includes Pono Burger substituting their single-use plastic straws, they usually use for shakes, with our reusable silicone straw alternative. Pono Burger already avoids using straws for their soft drinks, handing them out only if requested. Pono Burger also already offers biodegradable paper straws, but customers commonly report that these straws often breakdown too quickly. Pono Burger does hand out straws with their shakes, and has offered to substitute our reusable straws for customers willing to try them. Saving the plastic straws that would otherwise go to waste and be thrown away after one use is for hear on out our goal. With our straws they will treat them like silverware and clean them with dishwashers and the given pipe cleaners. We went down to Pono Burger, meeting the General Manager, Chris Evans, and distributed the straws. Both Pono Burger and we were excited about our collaboration and what's to come as seen here!
So far, we have been provided data through email and for the short 2 and a half day amount of time that the solution has been implemented, the data has been quite strong, and Pono Burger has handed out about half of the straws that we originally gave them, approximately 15 straws a day. This is not a large quantity by any means, but it is still strong data nonetheless for such a new product in such a short amount of time. Also, going forward Pono Burger plans on using more of these straws and implementing our group's solution to more sections of their restaurant. We thank Pono Burger so much for this incredible experience they have provided and cannot wait for what's to come!
Reflecting back on our groups data we feel for such a new product and new idea we have gained quite good results, still making a noticeable difference that can only get better as time goes on. Of course the only thing that we could ahve changed to get more feedback and data in this amount of time would have been implementing the solution about a week earlier, with the little feedback we have gotten back from both Pono Burger and Chris all that this will really take is time and the interest of the customer.
This week we were rejected by A Votre Santé leading us to finding a new restaurant that came to be Pono Burger. We have talked to their manager and they agreed and are aware about the horrible amount of waste created by throwing away single-use plastic straws and they liked our idea of incorporating reusable food grade silicone straws into their restaurant. It turns out that they use and throw away about 100 plastic, single-use straws everyday. We have asked what color they would like and they preferred a wide variety of straws and that is just what we got!
The only real difficulty we had was having to leave A Votre Santé and finding a new restaurant to take our data and incorporate our straws. In the end, we have found a restaurant that stands for what we believe in and want to make change!
Our group’s progress so far has mostly been contacting and gaining a client, Pono Burger, to distribute our straws at and take factual data from. We have obtained our straws and all we need to do now is distribute the food grade silicone straws to Pono Burger and await the data of how many single-use straws we have saved from being thrown away.
Pono burger websight: http://ponoburger.com/
This week we met with faculty at our own school to talk about our solution, they voiced their concerns and new ideas. I think that the they liked how we were centralizing our data by giving straws to one restaurant so we can take data from one source where we can go back to for information. They admired the amount of research and evidence that we have gained about food grade silicone and how great of a material it is. When the faculty voiced their concerns they mostly asked us if A Votre Santé say no and after they said that we looked for other restaurant options and found other places to go.
The one big problem that we came across that the faculty brought up is the quality and sanitariness of making straws, this made us think about what A Votre Santé wants and if they are concerned about us making these straws. We came to the conclusion that we will ask our community; A Votre Santé what they prefer. In the end our new solution involves us first asking what A Votre Santé wants then we will either acquire molds and food grade silicone to produce and create the finished product by ourselves or we will buy quality food grade silicone straws to distribute to the restaurant.
Plastic waste is accumulating on our earth based on our wasteful habits, however, we can change this. This terrible issue is affecting each and everyone one on this planet which is why our group is focusing on doing what we can to fix the issue. Through small steps our group is conquering this major issue. We are doing our part by replacing the plastic straws at A Votre Santé to impact the environment in a positive way. In fact, 500 million straws are used in a day in the U.S. BY reducing one restaurant’s plastic waste, our group will be lowering the U.S waste.
Our solution will have a positive impact because it is substituting single-use straws that are very wasteful and harmful to the environment with a reusable, environmentally friendly substitute that cuts out the wasteful nature of straws. Our product will stop the amount of straws being wasted each and everyday, helping the environment and helping the community that lives there.
We will ask our restaurant how many plastic straws are used every day, we will come to an average amount of straws used on an everyday basis. This will show us how many straws wasted and thrown away each day thus creating a control that we can work off of. When we implement the reusable, washable food grade straws into the restaurants ecosystem we will do the same procedure and see the difference in the amount of single-use plastic straws used and thrown away each day, showing us the amount of single-use straws we preserve each day. We expect to see a decrease in the amount of straws thrown away because of our new innovative food grade silicone straws.
Click on this link to hear the history of straws: https://vimeo.com/220521917
Over this last week our group has finalized our problem that there is too much single-use food product waste. After much brainstorming about the different possible problems we came to the conclusion that there is too much single-use food product waste. We came up with this finalized problem the week before after much discussion about what we wanted our overall focus to be. We saw how wasteful food products and utensils were so prevalent and common in our daily lives and then we couldn’t stop thinking of solutions and really devoted ourselves to this extremely relevant problem.
Over the past week our group has narrowed down on our final solution that we will distribute reusable food grade silicone straws to a small restaurant, preferably A Votre Santé due to their convenient location and general openness to new and innovative ideas. We plan on turning these food grade silicone straws into basically another type of silverware that would be washed and reused. These food grade silicone straws are made to work with food because they contain all natural materials, it is very resilient and strong, and it is easily moldable. Also, food grade silicone is easily washable and user friendly. We have a link here https://www.stasherbag.com/blogs/stasher-life/food-grade-silicone-what-is-it-and-why-is-it-better-than-plastic from our research showing how great food grade silicone really is.
Other solutions that revolve around our groups problem are compostable straws as seen on this website here https://www.aardvarkstraws.com/, and very common metallic straws that are bulky and very unappealing to drink from.
This week our group made great progress on narrowing down our problem from single-use waste to single-use food packaging waste. We wanted to find a problem that is very prevalent in Los Angeles and food packaging, single-use food packaging is. Most restaurants and stores package their food and give their food in single-use, non-reusable packaging. With the wasteful access of condiment packets that no one ever asked for. Along with the multiple layers of packaging with plastic and paper bags, these bags might be recyclable but they are still wasteful and hardly reusable. Along with the saran wrap on packaged foods and the seemingly eco-friendly containers for food that you can recycle but still throw away as waste.
Over 29% of the waste produced in the United States is food packaging and other commercial food product packaging. This is more waste than the waste created by lights and heating in houses or waste created by driving in cars. The industry as a whole is based around using single-use items instead of their reusable counterparts. For example, the single-use plastic water bottle industry more than 400% from 1976 to know in production and sales of plastic water bottles.
Our group reached out to Lauren Singer an individual who is living an almost completely waste-free lifestyle. We discovered her on instagram when we discovered a video of her showing her waste from the past five years which she has fit into a tiny jar. This eco-friendly lifestyle spoke to our groups mission and fundamental values. Our group emailed her asking her questions about her sustainable choices to obtain a deeper understanding of solutions to single-use items. We are still awaiting a response, and we cannot wait to here from her! We are also contacting online food providers, such as Postmates, and commercial stores, Whole Food, to gain an understanding of their waste production from single-use items.
Overall we want people to realize how important it is to reuse items and even though single use items are cheaper in the long run they affect the earth. So we are creating a solution that is useful to people’s everyday but also doesn’t hurt the earth. Watch this video to be inspired by Lauren Singers motivation to make a difference in the amount of waste she creates in her everyday life.
Hi, we are Jack C, Hugo M, and Jordan S. We are a group of Windward students focused on making the world have a little less plastic. We will be focusing on waste mitigation, and more specifically the materials used in creating singular use items and how those materials can be changed to make them more sustainable.
Not wasting time!