Compostable seaweed straws can be eaten after use

Startup is looking to replace single-use plastic straws with an edible version that also biodegrades rapidly.

The conversation surrounding the alarming amount of ocean plastic continues to pick up pace, and while we’ve seen efforts to remove and re-purpose that debris, there is more to be done to replace plastic all together. New York-based startup LOLIWARE is looking to stop a big source of that plastic in the first place: single use straws.

The company has built on its previous expertise in developing edible cups by producing straws made mostly of seaweed — the LOLISTRAW. The team identified seaweed as a suitable alternative to plastic due to its renewable production (it even captures CO2 while growing) and, if users choose not to eat their straw after use, it can be tossed into the organics bin where it breaks down rapidly for efficient composting. LOLISTRAWs will be available in a variety of colors and flavours, with plans to also fortify them with additional nutrients to further entice users to consume them, while maintaining the classic look and feel of a plastic straw with the durability to survive being handled in use for a variety of drinks (tests show the straws will survive in drinks for 24 hours and have a two year shelf life). LOLISTRAW is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, with an estimated delivery date of August 2018 and early bird starter packs available from USD 10.

The alternatives to single use plastic items are growing, such as this all-in-one paper coffee cup that requires no lid and this store dedicated to zero waste packaging, so what other single-use consumables could be targeted next?