They’re building the straw of tomorrow now that plastic’s passe

Craig Graffius started EcoGlass Straws 12 years ago with three decades of glass-making experience and his vision for an alternative to the ubiquitous plastic straw. What he didn’t have was anyone clamoring for his product.

Today, his tiny four-person shop in Hood River, Ore., is gearing up to turn out 2,000 handcrafted glass straws an hour. That’s up from the current pace of 125 an hour, or 1,000 a day.

EcoGlass’ surging output underscores a wave of change sweeping through the supply chain as the straw emerges as a central symbol of the world’s plastic trash crisis. With consumers searching for greener options, companies from Starbucks to McDonald’s to MGM Resorts International are responding.