WHITEHOUSE STATION, New Jersey -- It was during a sea turtle rescue, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where Elizabeth Thorne and William Marshall, owners of Sea-Straw, realized the damage caused by plastic straws and decided to introduce an eco-friendly alternative.
In collaboration with Minalex, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of aluminum extrusions, Sea-Straws has worked to elaborate an alternative to plastic, paper, glass, and stainless steel drinking straws, using marine grade "reef-friendly" aluminum and dyes.
"It's important to me. I love the wildlife and hate to see the garbage and I hate to see the ingestion of the plastics in sea turtles and marine life, so it's really important," said Thorne.
For both companies, protecting the environment is of great importance and knowing that their product is playing a part in saving marine wildlife is of great pride.
"It's great to be able to carry this business and see something that is touching so many people. We do parts for planes and the military, but making an eco-friendly straw that everybody can relate to is great that we can be able to make a difference," said Jim Casey of Minalex.
For William Marshall, the transition from plastic straws to aluminum is simply a change of habit.
"Right now people are upset not using plastic straws, what's the alternative? 30 years ago when they told us we would have to separate recyclables out of our trash, everybody was like we're not going to do that, now it's second nature," said Marshall.
According to Michael Casey of Minalex, approximately 50,000 straws are produced monthly and that number is likely to grow as many join this eco-friendly alternative.
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