Every Straw Makes A Difference


Sand Straw

It all began in the summer of 2018, when John Weil and Brian Ruthenberg spent a day at a local beach. While taking in the beauty of the nature surrounding them, the two noticed the enormous amounts of plastic straws, just waiting to float into the ocean and polluting the waters further.

Plastic pollution affects marine wildlife in many ways. Human activities, such as the ones John and Brian witnessed at their local beach, are just some of the examples that have tipped the scale against the survival of ancient marine wildlife. “More than 267 species worldwide are endangered due to our single-use plastic consumption, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species” according to Clean Water Action. Plastic bags, for instance, look very similar to jelly fish and fishing nets often resemble a tasty seaweed snack. Sea turtles and other aquatic animals think they are consuming some of their staple foods when in reality they are allowing harmful substances into their digestive tract. The implications of non-decomposable waste left a lasting impression on John and Brian.

Knowing the damage that our single-use plastic cause, the duo was determined to take matters into their own hands; this is when Sand Straw was born. Ever since Sand Straw has pioneered a movement that brings attention to the animals that are harmed through the consumption of single-use straws, specifically marine life. 

The founder duo began the Sand Straw journey in a garage, hopping from market to market in efforts to draw attention to the issue, educate people and swap wasteful consumption with a more sustainable one. Sand Straw creates reusable straws in a plethora of stunning finishes. Sand Straw has unique business model where every purchase of their reusable straws, yields a donation of 10% to marine research and conservation. Each straw specific straw pack is linked to a specific animal and charity it supports:

  • Blue straw pack – Dolphin Pack – donates to Blue Voice.  
  • Gold straw pack – Turtle Pack – donates to
  • Rainbow straw pack – Whale Pack – donates to Center for Whale Research.
  • Silver straw pack – Shark Pack – donates to Shark Savers.
  • Black fish pack – Fish Pack – donates to Oceana

So, with every purchase, you are not only eliminating one your plastic pollution, but also actively contribute to a good cause that helps marine life. Since Sand Straw was founded, they have scaled their production nationwide. In the two years of growths their efforts have helped eliminate an estimated count of 650 million plastic straws, thanks to more than 1,000 retail partners that carry Sand Straw in their stores. This immense growth was driven by compassion for the planet and the mission of eliminating one straw at a time through education of individuals, as well as, retailers. 

Sand Straw has been attending NY NOW since their foundation in 2018. John and Brian are proud to be part of the NY NOW family, as their participation in the market has allowed them to build connections and partnerships and grow their reach and further their mission and outreach.

We are excited to help brands with rich histories, great missions, passion and products like Sand Straw! Be sure to visit Sand Straw at Booth #7763 in the Gift Section at our Winter 2020 market February 1 -5, 2020.