Straws aren’t very popular right now, are they? With increasing public awareness of the harm plastic waste can inflict on the environment, the use of straws and other single-use plastics is being regulated in certain cities across the United States and around the world.
The city of Santa Barbara, California made headlines in recently with proposals for jail time and hefty fines for repeat straw users. Locally, the City of Miami Beach has had a straw ban in place applying to restaurants and hotels since 2012. Just last week, the Miami Beach City Commission expanded the ban to apply to all of the city’s beaches, marinas, docks, piers, parks, boat ramps as well as the usage of single-use stirrers. And these are just a couple of examples amid several jurisdictions cracking down on single-use plastic, ranging from bags to cutlery to bottles.
One local company — Pirani Life — is looking to take on an incredibly popular single-use staple used by college ragers, beach goers and almost anyone who has something to celebrate: The red Solo cup and all of its generic competitors.
On Monday, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea residents Danielle Del Sordo and Brandegee Pierce launched a Kickstarter campaign supporting their own reusable alternative, the Pirani Life Party Tumbler. The tumbler keeps drinks cold for 12 hours or hot for six hours and is billed as the “first vacuum insulated tumbler with rolled lip for smooth drinking.” The campaign raised nearly $6,000 in its first 24 hours and has now raised more than $3,000 over the initial goal of $7,000.
“I live a block from the beach... I see people going down there for stuff like Spring Break, or just to have some drinks,” said Pierce. “They leave trash there all the time and we wanted to find a way to reduce some of it and give people a better product in general. Seeing the trash really lit a fire in us.”
Pierce has a background in industrial design and mechanical engineering and spent upwards of three months molding and finding the perfect manufacturer for the cup.
Kickstarter pricing per tumbler starts at $12. Each order comes with a secure lid and lifetime warranty. Tumblers are available in red, Margarita (lime) and Poseidon (blue). Funds from the campaign will allow Del Sordo and Pierce to order the tumblers in bulk, branch out to additional reusable straw and lid options, and hopefully set up an e-commerce site down the line.
And, yes, there’s even a beer pong pack that you can order.
“We actually went tailgating at a Rascal Flatts show and had people trying out the tumblers for beer pong and even flip cup,” said Del Sordo, who works in the nonprofit and social media worlds by day. “They absolutely loved it.”
At the end of the day, the Pirani Lfe team wants to keep drinks cold, eliminate the annoying puddle of water left by Solo cups and make a dent in the 6.3 billion metric tons of single-use plastic waste each year.
“We just want to keep these single-use items out of our oceans and out of our landfills,” said Del Sordo. “However this turns out, if we can accomplish that, then we’ll be successful.”
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.