Introducing Quick Sip, SOFi’s weekly eco-newsletter

Welcome to the first SOFi Newsletter!

We’ve realized there are some holes — not in our straws but in our hearts. 

And we believe that void can only be filled by a connection with our customers, partners, and fans. 

That’s why we’re launching this newsletter. We want to connect more directly with you to discuss sustainability, environmental issues, and what’s really going on in our industry. Each week, we’ll dive into relevant news and issues that will serve your business and help you navigate ever-changing, eco-conscious trends.

Please let us know what you think — your thoughts will help shape this newsletter.

Good green news

The U.S. government recently gave the OK to a massive offshore wind energy project that can power more than 400,000 homes.

Off the coast of Massachusetts near Cape Cod, the Vineyard Wind project will be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S. The project, which is expected to deliver power by 2023, will multiply the nation’s offshore wind energy sources by twentyfold and create thousands of jobs.

With more than 90,000 miles of coastline, the U.S. is finally realizing its enormous offshore wind potential. The U.S Interior Department estimates that by 2030, about 2,000 turbines could be harnessing coastal breezes from Massachusetts to North Carolina. That’s enough electricity to power 10 million homes.

The promise and shortcomings of bioplastics

In the world of eco-friendly products, acronyms are common. 

You’ve probably seen a few, such as PHA and PLA bioplastics. These materials are touted as eco-saviors but they’re also stirring up debate

PHA and PLA plastics

PHAs — or its sexier scientific name, polyhydroxyalkanoate — are bio-based plastics. They’ve been popularly adopted as a biodegradable option for consumer products and food and beverage companies.

PLA, polylactic acid, is a polymer made from bio-based materials like cornstarch or sugarcane. It’s commonly used in anything from bottles to medical devices to 3D printing.

Both materials have fueled demand for bioplastics that are marketed as biodegradable, compostable, and guilt-abating alternatives to petroleum-based plastics. Those claims, however, are under scrutiny. 

Science says

  • While they’re improvements to petroleum-based plastic, studies have found PHA and PLA bioplastics are not the heroes they’re cracked up to be. 
  • To effectively biodegrade, most bioplastics need high-temperature, industrial composting facilities. Consequently, many bioplastics are often piled up in landfills. If deprived of oxygen, bioplastics may release methane — a greenhouse gas at least 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 
  • Bioplastics also often entail a carbon-intensive manufacturing process, cannot be effectively recycled among conventional plastics, and require significant land development for production.

With these concerns and the growing demand for sustainable products, you have the ingredients for corporate greenwashed soup. 

Learn more

At SOFi, we’re addressing the world’s plastic problem differently. Learn more about our mission and durable paper straws here. 

In the News

Greener Ideal published a helpful guide on how to address the topic of climate change with children.
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