Meet the Winnipeg Company Solving the Plastic Straw Problem. With Straw.

2018 was a big year for the fight against plastic straws.

Thanks in part to social media campaigns like the #StopSucking movement, cities are banning them, celebs are shunning them and restaurants are ditching them.

But as some solutions call for the elimination of straws altogether, a local start-up simply wants to replace them.

Launched in 2016, Winnipeg’s Naturally Chic recently released an inventive new alternative to disposable plastic straws – made of actual straw. Produced with decomposable wheat stalks, the company’s Raw Straws collection features sustainable straws ideal for cocktails, soft drinks, iced coffees and more. And although they’re made from wheat, there’s no actual grain involved in the production of Naturally Chic’s Raw Straws, making them gluten free.

‘’Removing the use of straws altogether creates challenges for those that require them, and frankly, consumers have just come to expect them in their drinks. So by offering an alternative that poses no impact to the environment, we’re aiming to solve the challenge in the most sustainable way we can think of. We’re finding they actually become a conversation starter too, which is really cool.’’  Dallas Soura, owner of Naturally Chic

Dallas Soura (right), owner of Naturally Chic

The biggest environmental problem with plastic straws, Soura says, is that they’re incredibly hard to recycle. Due to their small size and light weight, they often fall through the cracks at recycling plants and end up in a landfill – or in our waterways.

In fact, an estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. Add to that the fact that marine life have a 50% mortality rate after ingesting plastic, and these stats just plain suck.

‘’We might be miles away from the ocean here in Winnipeg, but we aren’t willing to sit back and say it’s not a problem just because we’re not seeing it firsthand. We believe one straw can make a difference and we’re hoping restaurants, bars, and hotels jump on board with the movement and give our Raw Straws a try.’’ – Dallas Soura

But for Naturally Chic, providing an alternative to plastic straws is just the beginning. With products like biodegradable food boxes and palm leaf dinnerware, they supply restaurants and food trucks across North America with earth-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic products from cups and cutlery to takeout containers and bags.

Oh, and to show their love for local, Naturally Chic is offering our audience 10% off all orders until Jan. 30, 2019 — just use the promo code WINNI at checkout. To browse their Raw Straws and other earth-conscious products, visit Naturally Chic online or follow them on Instagram.

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