EcoStraws Business Allstars Picture: Conor McCabe
New Limerick Eco-friendly Business EcoStraws Already Earning Plaudits
It is sometimes hard to believe in coincidence, but amazingly, the founders of EcoStraws are 3 running buddies who attended the National Geographic Symphony for our World performance at its European debut in Limerick and decided to act as a result. Brian O’Callaghan, Anthony Egan and Sarah Keyes say that the shocking realisation of the damage that humans are causing to our planet spurred them into action. And so EcoStraws.ie was born.
EcoStraws offers people an eco-friendly, high quality, fun alternative to the plastic drinking straw. The team supplies many different types of Eco-friendly reusable straws and 100% biodegradable disposable straws, both online and also every Saturday from their stall at the Milk Market. “Since we started at the market a few weeks ago, the response, both from the general public and from fellow traders has been phenomenal”, Brian starts. “The Milk Market has acted as a launchpad for businesses such as Harpers, The Green Apron, Wellnice Pops, and many more, and I am hopeful it will help us spread our message too.”
Research has shown that Ireland uses approximately 1 million plastic straws every day. Plastic drinking straws are recorded as being one of the top 10 pieces of debris found on our beaches. These pieces get ingested by marine & land animals, and ultimately, by us!
EcoStraws have over 70 products listed on the website and are targeting both the domestic market and the trade market. “Our stock of top quality, well priced, reusable eco-friendly straws including Stainless Steel, Glass, Bamboo, and Silicone are proving to be huge hits with the domestic market as householders include them in their cutlery drawer”, Brian states. “With all products priced under €10, they are also proving to be an excellent stocking filler for Christmas.”
“Pubs and cafés who wish to promote their eco credentials are our biggest customers for paper, CPLA, and edible straws. These straws are sourced from 100% natural materials which means they are completely biodegradable. Thankfully we have a very proactive hospitality sector here in Limerick, and the support we have received since launch has been phenomenal.”
“Up until this point, we have concentrated on the domestic gift market, and have been very busy in the leadup to Christmas. In the New Year, along with this market, we plan on disrupting the trade and retail market. We have had lots of inquiries from pubs and hotels who wish to save money whilst also promoting their eco-friendly credentials by switching to eco-friendly alternatives to plastic straws. Along with this, some cafes such as Duo on Denmark St are retailing some of our products. As we enter 2019, we are on the search for more retailers who wish to align themselves to us, by offering very attractive packages.”
People are already starting to take notice of this business, both nationally and internationally. This week, they were awarded the coveted All-Ireland Business All-Star accreditation at Croke Park. It is an independently verified standard mark for indigenous businesses based on rigorous selection criteria on performance, trust and customer centricity. “This was a huge honour for us’” said Brian, “especially so early into our journey, but it re-enforced the fact that what we were doing, we were doing right. We have also been noticed internationally. A member of the National Geographic team in Washington was onto us lately to congratulate us on our enterprise, and only last week, University of Pennsylvania asked if they could display some of our products in their Fine Arts Library Material Collection. So there is no doubt this is an exciting time for us, and it is all down to the support of the people of Limerick.
This small team sees itself as having a unique business and they claim to have the credentials to progress. “We believe that we are at the beginning of a revolution against single-use plastics and that EcoStraws.ie is ahead of the curve. We have the ability and the knowledge to continue to grow our business with the momentum surrounding the current movement. We are the only business solely targeting single-use plastic straws in the EU, if not the world, so we are aiming high and already have some exciting announcements to make in the new year. Our ultimate goal is to become the number 1 supplier of eco-friendly drinking straws in Ireland, Europe, and across the globe, thus doing our bit in the fight against plastic pollution.”
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