First Watch Reduces Plastic Footprint by 30 Million Straws

Business

First Watch, the leader in Daytime Dining, has partnered with WinCup, Inc. to replace about 30 million plastic straws annually in its more than 440 restaurants nationwide with phade®, a first-of-its-kind sustainable straw that naturally breaks down in the ocean in a matter of months. The new partners collectively place innovation and environmental sustainability as their core priorities, while providing a customer experience that looks and feels like a traditional plastic straw yet will safely return to nature through composting. Currently, First Watch offers phade® straws in two of its markets and intends to rollout nationally in the next two months. The secret behind phade® lies in its careful development that uses natural, raw materials to create straws that quickly and safely return to the earth in a matter of months after use, a significantly reduced timeline when compared to the hundreds of years it can take traditional petroleum-based straws to leave the environment. This is thanks to the straw’s unique PHA (short for polyhydroxyalkanoate) properties, which because of its organic, plant-based make-up, bacteria treat as a food source in nearly all natural environments. First Watch’s partnership with WinCup comes as the Bradenton, Florida-based company is experiencing unprecedented growth. Named the fastest growing full-service restaurant company in 2021 by FSR Magazine, First Watch today has a geographical footprint stretching across 28 states. The restaurant concept is making progress in ensuring its experiences and operations are based in sustainable practices. These efforts include offerings such as its award-winning Project Sunrise coffee, which supports independent groups of female farmers in Colombia, 100% recyclable to-go paper bags and containers made from 90% post-consumer waste fibers, napkins made with 100% recycled paper and, most recently, compostable phade® straws. In addition to sharing commitments to quality performance, team wellbeing and doing the right thing, First Watch was drawn to WinCup in part because its unique, award-winning focus on sustainable solutions. WinCup has won numerous awards for the development and launch of phade®, including the 2021 Innovation Award for Foodservice for Sustainability Solutions from the National Restaurant Association and SmartBrief, and 2020 Innovation in Bioplastics Award from the Bioplastics Division of PLASTICS (The Plastics Industry Association). Connecting the two organizations helps empower customers to play a role in taking care of the planet.

 

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