Straws of Steel

  • Location
    Alameda, California
  • Status

The Problem

Our project's goal is to reduce the plastic waste generated by boba (milk tea) stores in our community. The Bay Area, where we live, is home to hundreds of boba stores and nearly 10 of them are located in Alameda. On Park Street, which is the designated location for off-campus lunches at Alameda High School, students buy boba on a daily basis. Buying boba entails fully non-renewable plastic, with plastic containers, plastic lids, and large plastic straws. As our community is located right next to the San Francisco Bay, we recognise that we are responsible for keeping this plastic out of the ocean. And as the community's high schoolers and as these boba stores' primary customers, we are dedicating to changing this.

Our Plan

Part 1) WASTE AUDIT Our Waste Audit Team will be collecting information about the amount of plastic generated by our community's boba stores. Because there are currently no statistics surrounding this topic, we will be releasing the results to the Bay Area and our city's government. This will also help us determine the impact of our project as we can compare "before" and "after". Part 2) APPEALS Our Appeals Team will then go back around to the stores and explain our project. According to Alameda's new food ordinance law, boba stores are technically breaking the law by providing plastic straws regardless of whether customers request them or not. We have talked over our project with Alameda City's Department of Public Health. If these boba stores agree to endorse our reusable boba containers and offer discounts for those that bring them in, we will allow them an extension of time to change out their plastic straws into renewable options. (We don't want to hurt their business as they ARE all members of our community as well.) Part 2) BUDGETING/OUTREACH We will be selling reusable boba containers and stainless steel straws to high school students during a publicised lunch event. These will be sold at a low price as to be affordable for all students. RethinkDisposable will help us procure these items. Part 3) MAKING IT HIP What we envision is that these cool-looking new boba containers will become the new "Hydroflask". We are planning to get everyone on this bandwagon. Additionally, thanks to our waste audit, we'll be able to measure our impact efficiently. We're very excited to see what happens!

Themes Addressed

  • term icon
    Clean Water
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The Benefit

About Roots & Shoots

We are nurturing the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

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