Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Members come from a wide range of sectors and are aligned in their mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on communities and ecosystems around the world. The Coalition Spotlight is our monthly blog to uplift and showcase their work, giving our readers an inside look at some of these influential change-makers. This month, we highlight three members who are building a plastic-free solutions platform, creating epic dining experiences through edible tableware, and reestablishing our sacred relationship with water.
I’m Plastic Free
Sustainability is becoming a substantial determining factor in consumer purchasing decisions. But making conscious decisions in today’s consumer landscape can sometimes be challenging. Confusing labels, a lack of transparency and standardization, and misleading greenwashing campaigns have created skepticism as to which brands deliver on their promises and are in fact better for the environment.
PPC Business Member I’m Plastic Free connects eco-conscious individuals and small businesses with solutions to plastic pollution, allowing for better informed and trusted purchasing decisions. The database is simple and easy to navigate and free of charge for users. The businesses and products that are featured on the site are individually vetted according to a robust set of values, including whether or not businesses offer zero-waste and plastic-free packaging, to whether products are nontoxic and cruelty free. This process of due diligence gives users a high level of confidence when making healthier and more sustainable switches, and is why in recent weeks the site has seen exponential traction.
Owner and founder Simona Paganetto sees biomaterials and regenerative replacements to plastic products as a necessary first step in a just transition away from a petrochemical-dependent global economy. Designed as a one-stop-shop for knowledge and vetted products, her site offers: a directory of plastic-free products and solutions; hundreds of educational blogs; creative ways to adopt plastic-free habits; advice on how to lower your microplastic exposure risk; and ways to connect with innovative sustainable businesses.
On a mission to prevent pollution from disposable plastic foodware products, U.K.-based company Stroodles offers a line of products that are changing the industry, one Stroodle at a time. From pasta straws to edible spoons, cups, and even plates, their products are made from simple, flour-based, vegan ingredients that biodegrade rapidly without compromising functionality. Their pasta straws have become quite famous in the bar and restaurant world, as they hold a solid structure even when sitting in a drink for more than an hour, bringing pizzazz to any beverage and creating an unforgettable dining experience! Enjoying food and drinks from your favorite neighborhood spot doesn’t need to create single-use plastic pollution. Stroodles makes it easy for consumers and restaurants to showcase their commitment to sustainable alternatives and inspire others to do the same.
In addition to tackling the plastic waste crisis by displacing plastic tableware with zero-waste products, Stroodles is also engaging people through educational projects aimed at plastic waste awareness. Their Stroodles Sustainability Awareness Initiative helps youth and community groups understand the impact of single-use plastic on our shared planet. Projects include collaborative art sculptures made from plastic straw pollution and plastic pollution education from their fun “Mr. Stroodles” cartoon character.
Stroodle products have been well received by the media since their inception, and Chief Stroodler Maxim even tried his luck on the BBC entrepreneurial pitch show “The Dragons Den,” putting his company on a path to mainstream success. Stroodles has expanded their customer base in recent years to include partners like the Marriott, ibis hotels, and the Southbank Centre. In September, they announced the exciting acquisition of the German company Spoontainable GmbH, positioning them to scale across Europe.
Waterspirit is a spiritual ecology nonprofit that informs, inspires, and empowers people of all beliefs to deepen their consciousness of the sacredness of water and the interdependence of all Earth’s systems. Waterspirit educates, advocates, and collaborates in order to promote the individual transformations and systemic changes needed to sustain water and all life on Earth.
Waterspirit’s advocacy campaigns are guided by principles of integral ecology and environmental justice. They seek to hear the cry of the Earth and respond to the most vulnerable populations through community-driven initiatives and public policy efforts. Recent efforts include supporting a Bottle Bill, the Green Amendment Campaign in New Jersey, and working on the Poor People’s Campaign to help promote the Right to Clean Water. Learn more about their major campaigns and ways you can get involved in your community by visiting Waterspirit’s Advocacy page.
The organization also offers educational programs for schools, camps, clubs, and community groups on the topics of water conservation, nature exploration, ecosystems, environmental justice, green infrastructure, youth civic engagement, and religion and ecology. They lead public events which include seasonal celebrations, rain barrel workshops, seal monitoring, beach clean ups, eco-anxiety support groups, and more. To see upcoming public programs visit Waterspirit’s Event Calendar.
Recently, Waterspirit’s Executive Director, Blair Nelsen, attended the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago. This week of presentations, ceremonies, and prayers brought together thousands of people from many different faith traditions for connecting, community-building, and for envisioning a better future. During the Parliament, Blair presented on a panel entitled “Sacred Water in a Climate Changed Era” with inspirational panelists. Learn more about Waterspirit’s involvement at the United Nations here.