As SCUBA divers, Charlie and I have witnessed the devastation that plastics are doing to our oceans and environment. Whenever we go to the beach, or anywhere, we are always picking up trash, particularly plastic. I am still amazed at how much plastic is used in the food and beverage industry, particularly restaurants and bars near beaches.
It is widely publicized about the amount of plastic that is used every day in a multitude of ways. From plastic bags to plastic straws to microplastics that end up in our oceans and marine life, there seems to be no end to the ways plastics have damaged our eco-systems, and the majority of it cannot be recycled.
While many companies have vowed to stop using plastics, the bar industry has not quite jumped onto the bandwagon as of yet. That was until Azuñia Tequila started its campaign against the use of plastics in bars, restaurants, and individuals.
Now everyone who knows me knows I’m one to enjoy a good margarita. I’m also one to support any company that jumps in and takes responsibility for helping improve our environment and be an active part of the change. So when Azuñia Tequila approached me about sharing their efforts to decrease the number of plastics used in the foodservice industry, I was all in.
According to a January 2019 press release from the brand, Azuñia Tequila*, a premium, organic, estate-crafted tequila has now signed up more than 33,000 people in its rapidly expanding No Plastic Straws 365 Challenge. To meet the heavy interest, the fast-growing, sustainably farmed tequila brand is adding to their initial pledge of providing a reusable, recyclable stainless-steel straw to the first thousand people who signed up by allocating hundreds of straws to future participants in the program, as randomly selected.
“The average American uses 1.7 plastic straws a day, so we thought, why not go after that and see if we can just do better, join together on a fun initiative and make a difference,” said Azuñia’s Managing Director Joe Giansante. “So far, collectively, we’ve pledged to eliminate 20,000,000 plastic straws from use in 2019, and counting! If placed in a line, that is enough plastic to stretch from Los Angeles to Boston, and headed back to Chicago! Small personal changes can pay big dividends when we get together, and it fits with Azuñia’s farm and family heritage. Our brand is one of the few tequilas on the market that is organic, sustainably farmed, and uses no chemicals or additives, so why not take it a step further with this effort.”
This voluntary grassroots initiative is aimed at bars, restaurants, and individuals eliminating the everyday use of plastic straws, or replacing them with a reusable and recyclable straw that individuals can carry with them and use as needed. The “365” represents the number of days in the year to reinforce the idea that making a small choice like refusing the use of one straw every day for one year can collectively make a significant impact.
Initially, Azuñia planned to give reusable straws to the first 500 people who accepted the “No Plastic Straws 365” Challenge, then increased it to 1,000 in November of 2018 when the response was positive as demonstrated through a steady stream of sign-ups. Since then, the campaign has taken off through Word of Mouth on social media and through communities and forums of eco-conscious bloggers and their loyal followers. Thanks to these tight-knit groups’ and individuals’ dedication to this cause, Azuñia has over 33,000 sign-ups for the challenge to date, eliminating over 20 Million* harmful plastic straws from U.S. oceans and landfills.
Not only has the No Plastic Straws 365 Challenge taken off beyond expectation, so has the Azuñia brand, which has nearly doubled in size over the last two years. One of the main drivers is a hospitality industry application of the metal straw concept by providing straws to bars and restaurants as part of its signature cocktail program, the Azuñia Orgánica or Organic Skinny Margarita. Made with USDA-certified Organic Azuñia Blanco or Reposado tequila, Azuñia Organic Agave Syrup and lime juice, the simple but refreshing and low-calorie cocktail is served in many locations, such as Tocaya Organica, with the reusable straw.
For more information on the “No Plastic Straws 365” Challenge: https://www.azuniatequila.com/noplasticstraws365/
*Azuñia Tequila’s #noplasticstraws365 seeks to reduce the number of single-use plastic straws. On average, every person in the U.S. uses 620 plastic straws per year. That’s 620 fewer straws for every one person who accepts the #noplasticstraws365 challenge.
About Azuñia Tequila
Azuñia is smooth, clean craft tequila with authentic flavor from the local terroir in every sip. It is the exclusive export of Agaveros Unidos de Amatitán and its second-generation, family-owned-and-operated Rancho Miravalle estate, which has created exceptional tequila for over 20 years. Made with 100% pure Weber Blue Agave grown in dedicated fields of the Tequila Valley, we harvest by hand and roast the organic agave in traditional clay hornos to ensure authenticity and depth of flavor. We then finish with a natural, open-air fermentation process and bottle onsite in small batches using a consistent process to deliver field-to-bottle quality. For more information, please visit https://www.azuniatequila.com.
I am always up for supporting any company that sources responsibly and also has the environment top of mind. Azuñia stands for both, and I, for one, will gladly purchase their product and support them 100%. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to their facility one day and take a tour and enjoy a margarita with the team.