‘World’s First’ Plastic-Free Straw Is Not Only Biodegradable, But Also Edible

By Yoon Sann Wong, 02 Jan 2018

Some of you might remember the heart-wrenching video that went viral in 2015, where researchers struggled to removed a straw that had gotten stuck inside a turtle’s nostril.

The video’s title comes with the words “‘NO’ TO PLASTIC STRAWS.” Though some might have tweaked their drinking habits for the better since then, “500 million plastic straws [are still] used every day in the US” alone.

Hopefully, with the invention of ‘Lolistraw’, all that could become a thing of the past. From the same team that brought to you edible cups comes this brand new, and much-needed invention by Loliware.

The 100% plastic-free, marine-degradable, hypercompostable, non-GMO, and edible creation is made using seaweed to produce an end result that resembles plastic.

“From our perspective, the way to get our community involved, and the way to get the world excited about this new innovation is to embrace the fun,” explained Chelsea Briganti, one of the co-founders of Loliware, to Fast Company. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but similar to the edible cups, come with the option of being flavored.

“You can imagine drinking your cold-brewed coffee with a vanilla straw or a caramel straw… We think that will really increase this movement around plastic-free, because we’re not telling the consumer, hey, you can’t have your straw. We’re providing them a solution to the plastic straw crisis while also giving them a fun experience on top of that. It’s not about the consumer sacrificing anymore, it’s about the consumer having fun and being sustainable at the same time,” added Briganti.

“It transforms while you’re using it to where you can actually bite into it afterward and eat it. But when you first pick it up and put it into your drink, it’s going to feel like a plastic straw,” said co-founder Leigh Ann Tucker.

If you don’t feel like eating the ‘Lolistraw’, fret not because the material breaks down easily—similar to a banana peel. If it ends up in the ocean, the ‘Lolistraw’ will dissolve.



“There are some bioplastics that just break down into smaller pieces, whereas Lolistraw is designed to literally disappear,” clarified Briganti. Though the cost to manufacture the ‘Lolistraw’ is not as low as that of plastic straws, it will compete with other biodegradable straws and paper. Ultimately, the goal is to replace the millions of plastic straws currently polluting the planet. The team is optimistic with Briganti saying, “I know we can get there.”

At present, Loliware is raising funds through Kickstarter to turn the eco-friendly ‘Lolistraw’ into reality. With eight days to go, the team’s raised US$18,265 of its US$30,000 goal. Show your support and find out more about ‘Lolistraw’ here.

[via Fast Company, video via Kickstarter, images via Kickstarter]
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