As of Wed. Jan. 1 2020, operations throughout the city of Charleston, the town of James Island, and Charleston County unincorporated areas are required to eliminate single-use plastic. This means no more plastic bags and non-recyclable to-go containers, and of course, no plastic straws.
New Charleston-based biz Holy City Straw Company touts their gluten-free, 100 percent compostable wheat straws as the best alternative to plastic. Unlike paper straws, they don't get flimsy. And, unlike plant-based compostable (PLA) straws, they don't require industrial compositing facilities. You may have spied similar straws in your cup before — at least one local place, Mixson Market, has used San Francisco-based HAY! Straws, for instance.
In a press release, company co-founder Tom Crowley says that, "Holy City Straw Company's mission as an eco-conscious company is to help bring to light the best alternative and movement away from the industry giant of plastics … it's a small change with a big result."
So what makes up this wonder straw? According to their website, Holy City Straws sources their wheat from small to medium sized FDA-certified farms in southeast Asia. Their straws are 4.5-6mm in width, so you're getting a mouthful every time you use it.
Restaurants currently using Holy City straws include Fuji Sushi, Rutledge Cab Co., Dunleavy's, Jack of Cups Saloon, Palace Hotel, Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar, and Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails. You can order your own box online — 100 straws will cost ya $7, and you can order 500 for $30.
In addition to their wheat straws, the company also sells the less desirable PLA straws, with the caveat that they've partnered with a local industrial composting facility to make sure they're properly composted. Holy City Straw Company also notes on their site they that will donate 5 percent of all profits to the S.C. Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Unit. Now, that doesn't suck.