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Drinking straws have become the latest cause célèbre among environmentalists decrying the wastefulness of single-use plastic products. Some restaurants are declining to offer them, while some communities are outlawing them. So it seems the everyday straw as we know it may be on the way out.

But don’t tell that to the folks at “Clean Syp Straws”. They’re hoping to make straws relevant again, by turning them into coupon-delivery devices.

So never mind where they might end up after you toss them into the trash – these straws could help you save money while you sip!

When you picture the typical drinking straw, you probably think of those paper-wrapped plastic straws that you get in a cafeteria or a fast-food restaurant. But the makers of Clean Syp Straws have other straws in mind – the ones at bars, nightclubs, coffee shops and casinos that are often unwrapped and sitting in a caddy on the counter for your server to grab with their grimy hands and stick into your drink.

“Straws are usually gross and unhygienic,” the company explains. “As people shake hands, touch money, grab menus or wipe down the bar we are consistently at risk for potential contaminants. The level of exposure that drinking straws have before they make it into someone’s beverage is quite high and can create an unhealthy experience for the end user. Staph bacteria are types of germs commonly found on the skin of even healthy individuals and can transfer to drinking straws quite easily. Even dust or debris from the air can settle on uncovered straws making them unclean for users.”

Eeew.

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So Clean Syp has gone into business selling straws that are unwrapped, but topped with a paper “flag” that keeps the tip safely covered up. And since no surface can go unmonetized in this day and age, companies can use the paper flags to advertise and offer coupons to a captive audience.

“Our ‘Mini Billboard’ system is the most effective and hygienic way to brand your business, drive sales and push call-to-action results,” the company says. “With the flagged straw now in the customer’s drink, they have to physically interact with the flag (by removing it) to enjoy their beverage.”

The “mini-billboard” could be as simple as a company logo or advertisement, or it could be a coupon redeemable at a nearby store or even at that very establishment. What better way to keep them drinking than by serving them beverages that come with coupons for a discount on the next one?

In a nod to the budding anti-straw movement, the company does offer recycled plastic and 100% paper straws. They can be ordered in bulk with custom-printed flags for about 10 cents per straw. “This mini billboard makes print advertising cool again!” the company proclaims.

For now, whoever orders the straws is the one who determines what goes on the flags. But an enterprising advertiser could conceivably buy space on the straws, then offer them for free to an establishment in exchange for distributing their message. That’s the type of business model that has seen coupons showing up everywhere from paper rolls on doctors’ examination tables, to sheets of toilet paper.

Anyone can make straws, but Clean Syp says it’s the messaging that makes its products unique. “This is not a straw, that is just the gateway,” company president Alberto Oliveira said in a statement. “This is in-your-face advertising, plain and simple.”

According to the company motto, “You’ll never look at straws the same way again.” And if you have enough drinks, you may never look at coupons the same away again either.

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