Plastic straws. Could we ever have envisioned that such a simple invention would become such a huge contributor to the appalling toxic plastic waste issues we face today? Thankfully, there’s a whole new generation of innovators out there, many of them taking on the task of eliminating single use plastic by creating viable biodegradable alternatives. One such company has done just that, by creating edible and biodegradable straws.
LOLIWARE’s LOLISTRAWS, which they call the “world’s first edible, hyper-compostable, marine-degradable straw aimed at replacing plastic straws.” is an alternative to plastic straws that can be composted, eaten, and even add flavor to your drink. Made from seaweed-based material which is totally biodegradable, marine-degradable, and non-GMO. They also come in different colors and flavors such as ‘citrus’, ‘vanilla dust’ and a clear, flavorless straw called ‘air’. The straws are also zero calorie, so no worries if you snack on your straws, likewise, no worries if you don’t!
Although LOLISTRAWS look and feel like regular plastic straws, they go “from straw to soil in 60 days or less” instead of being in a landfill forever. The straws will last up to 18 hours in a drink without disintegrating.
LOLIWARE were featured on Shark Tank in 2015 and pitched their signature LOLIWARE edible cups. Like LOLISTRAWS, their flavoured edible cups are also a completely biodegradable alternative to the typical plastic cup.
Some estimates indicate that Americans use about 500 million straws every day. The exact number is almost impossible to calculate. Milo Cress, who calculated that initial number when he was nine, says we’ve been belaboring the wrong point. “I think getting stuck on what the exact number is sort of misses the point of my project, which is to reduce our use and waste of straws,” Cress told MONEY. “I think we could improve on pretty much any number as long as we’re continuing to waste plastic. Any number is too high.”
LOLIWARE CEO Chelsea Fawn Briganti is pioneering a plastic-free future with an interdisciplinary team of leading material scientists, food technologists, seaweed biologists, and biopolymerists. The team is focused on replacing the 360 billion plastic straws used globally every year. “Every piece of plastic ever created still exists,” says Briganti. “There are five trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans; an estimated ten million tons of plastic is produced every second. Single use plastics should never be built to last, they should be designed to disappear.”
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