Former NFL Player Launches Eco-Friendly Straw Startup to Combat the Plastic Crisis
By Jordan Diab.
“Sustainability is not just for the ‘granola’ anymore,” says Ryan Mundy, former NFL player and co-founder of SWZLE , a reusable straw company dedicated to making “going green” trendy and more accessible than ever. SWZLE makes and sells stainless steel and paper straws that are BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and come in three different shapes: bent, cocktail, and straight. You can select your straws from a rainbow of colors and even personalize your own carrying case. “Our straws are trendier than their competitors, making you want to pull them out at the coffee shop, bar, or club,” says Mundy.
Why SWZLE Straws?
Ryan Mundy is a man of many hats: business owner, father, and a former NFL player for the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New York Giants. He is also a man on a mission to make a difference step by step – or rather, straw by straw. If you’ve been living and breathing within the past few years, surely you have heard about the plastic plight facing our planet and its eco-systems.
In the U.S. alone, people use about 500 million straws every day, according to thelastplasticstraw.org. That’s enough to fill Yankee Stadium nine times. These straws are not biodegradable, so they end up in our landfills, the air, our oceans, and our food chain. “As a nation, we are extremely plastic-dependent,” says Mundy. “We have to bring awareness and start somewhere.”
When asked how his professional football career helped shape his ability to make a difference, Mundy laughs, “I can’t tackle people anymore. It’s just not conducive to a good business model.” He says his time in the sport has taught him grit, focus, and leadership. While he is passionate about reducing plastic waste for our planet, he says his overarching goal is to empower former professional athletes to see themselves for more than their past athletic abilities. “Athlete transition is something I’m really passionate about,” says Mundy, “The transition out of professional sports can be difficult, as one may not know who he or she is without the sport.”
SWZLE Straws Are Helping the Solution
Today, however, Mundy’s focus is on using SWZLE as part of the solution to stopping the detrimental effects plastic is having on our planet. The company recently partnered with Shedd Aquarium in Chicago to work together on solutions for the planet, ocean, and ecosystem. “I want people to know that we are in this for the long haul. This will take time, but we [at SWZLE] are excited and committed,” says Mundy. His advice to those who are trying to live greener? “Start by asking yourself why you want to… once you do this, you will be able to realize that you have an effect on the environment. This creates a level of empathy in everyday life.”
That’s one small “straw” for man, one giant leap for mankind!
To purchase your own SWZLE straws, visit https://swzle.com/collections/shop
Jordan Diab is a Phoenix native who is currently studying Psychology at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.