WelCom July 2018:
A group St Mary’s College students wants to raise awareness about combating the effects of plastic waste on the environment. They have formed a company ‘The Final Straw’ as part of the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES). The scheme allows students to set up and run a real business by bringing a product or service to market.
The Final Straw aims to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic straws for cafés and restaurants. The straws will be produced from a naturally-sourced and compostable material. Restaurants will be given posters and other marketing materials to help them encourage customers to think about the environment.
It is estimated in New Zealand around 200 million straws are used yearly. Disposed plastic straws can last 200 years in the ocean, they are a major threat to marine life and are one of the top five most common items found during beach clean ups.
Some restaurants use over 800 straws a week, so even if The Final Straw get only a few on board with the product and idea, we’ll be making an impact. The preferred option long term is no straws at all. The Final Straw is providing a stepping stone to help break the habit.
The girls were awarded second place for their first Regional Challenge entry – a comprehensive analysis of their extensive market research, accompanied by a video of interviews with potential customers.