In these Conversations, President Andy Hamilton interviews NYU faculty, students, and alumni who are using their intellectual gifts, determination, and creativity to make a profound difference in our world. With each guest, he pulls back the curtain to learn the origins of their inspiration, the current focus of their work, and their vision for the future.
Founder and CEO Antonio Di Meglio (Stern ’20) and Co-founder and Creative Director Echo Chen (Gallatin ’20) are current NYU undergrads who established SeaStraws in 2018 with Sophie Kennedy (CAS ’19) and several other NYU students.
SeaStraws provides nationwide distributors and individual restaurants with disposable single-use products that minimize environmental impact. The company’s mission is to transform hospitality through sustainable alternatives.
In September 2018, the University announced several sustainability initiatives, including its commitment to eliminate plastic straws in the dining halls—resulting in 1,140,000 fewer plastic straws in the waste stream annually. The SeaStraws team contacted the Office of Student Affairs to offer their products to NYU's dining services, and one month later, SeaStraws became the official straws supplier for all of NYU’s dining halls. The business relationship continues to this day, and to date, SeaStraws has sold over 5.6 million paper straws.