ConverPack, Inc. cut the red ribbon to inaugurate its new 70,000 square-foot facility in Medley, Florida on September 12, as the company’s assembly line began rolling out the first of at least 60 million paper straws per month. This is the company’s second manufacturing facility in Medley, which will not only add 55 new jobs, but will also make it the largest manufacturer of paper straws in the state of Florida.
Since 2010, ConverPack has been a leading global manufacturer of hot and cold single-use paper cups and accessories, distributing products to clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. The addition of biodegradable and compostable paper straws made with gluten-free glue to its lineup of products is in keeping with a company philosophy based on a commitment to protecting human health, natural resources and the environment.
“We are proud to be producing the paper straws in accordance with the strict guidelines set forth by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI),” said Franz Fernandez, General Manager of ConverPack. “Under ConverPack’s Ecolyptus® label, the paper straws, along with all of our products, reflect our commitment to responsible forest management and protection for our marine life.”
At the celebration and ribbon cutting, Thursday, September 12th was proclaimed “ConverPack Day”, via proclamations presented to ConverPack by Medley Mayor Roberto Martell and Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava.
Americans use 500 million plastic straws daily, and ConverPack is working hard to curb that statistic by offering sturdy, biodegradable, paper straws. Because they are small and lightweight, plastic straws often never make it into recycling bins, and the evidence of this failure is clearly visible on Florida’s beaches. Their small size makes plastic straws one of the most insidious polluters, as they are often consumed by fish, thereby making its way into our own food consumption.
“We need to break the misconception that an equitable and economically feasible transition away from plastic straws is impossible, and we applaud ConverPack’s commitment to providing an environmentally safe alternative.” said Salome Garcia of the Florida Plastic Free Initiative. “In Florida alone, fishing, tourism, and recreation support roughly 281,000 jobs and generate about $36.6 billion in GDP in the Atlantic portion of Florida.”
Communities and businesses worldwide are finally taking seriously the detrimental impact of plastic straws on the environment and on our health, and South Florida has a heavy corporate punch behind the movement to curtail or ban them, with Bacardi and Disney among the many companies who have pledged to stop using plastic straws. Other companies pledging to ban, or greatly limit, the use of plastic straws are American Airlines, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott International, Royal Caribbean, Starbucks and Whole Foods.
“As longtime stewards of the environment, we have a responsibility to ensuring its health and well-being,” added Fernandez. “From equipment and paper selection, to inks and cleaning solvents, we implement eco-friendly standards to reduce carbon footprints and minimize the environmental impact of our products and operations. We look forward to expanding that commitment with the addition of paper straws to our lineup.”