Environment

Wood-chip straws biodegrade when discarded

In either an industrial composting facility or the ocean, the straws completely break down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass
In either an industrial composting facility or the ocean, the straws completely break down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass
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In either an industrial composting facility or the ocean, the straws completely break down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass
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In either an industrial composting facility or the ocean, the straws completely break down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass
With backing from cosmetics company Chanel, Sulapac is also promoting a range of compostable jars and small boxes made from the material
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With backing from cosmetics company Chanel, Sulapac is also promoting a range of compostable jars and small boxes made from the material

It's no secret that conventional plastic drinking straws are very eco-unfriendly. Manufactured in the billions, they're typically only used once, and then end up in landfills or the ocean. Finnish startup Sulapac is attempting to address the problem, with marine-biodegradable straws.

Developed in partnership with renewable materials company Stora Enso, the new straws are made from Sulapac's patented 100-percent biodegradable material, which consists of sustainably-sourced wood chips (obtained as a waste product) and a renewable natural binder. They're used just like normal straws, and can be manufactured in existing production facilities at a "competitive price."

Once discarded in either an industrial composting facility or the ocean, however, naturally-occurring microorganisms are claimed to completely break them down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass. That biomass is said to not have any effect on plankton growth, or to otherwise harm the marine environment.

With backing from cosmetics company Chanel, Sulapac is also promoting a range of compostable jars and small boxes made from the material
With backing from cosmetics company Chanel, Sulapac is also promoting a range of compostable jars and small boxes made from the material

With backing from cosmetics company Chanel, Sulapac is also promoting a range of compostable jars and small boxes made from the material, which are water, oil and oxygen-resistant.

Parties interested in licensing the technology can contact Sulapac via the source link below. Of course, eco-conscious beverage-sippers can also simply purchase reusable straws.

Source: Sulapac

5 comments
paul314
So, in essence, the return of the paper straw? Plastic, we hardly knew ye.
Fairly Reasoner
So, paper.
Grunchy
I put 10 straws on the digital scale and measured 3g of plastic.
highlandboy
Many Many years ago the only straws you could buy were woodchip straws (also called paper straws). Usually they were sealed with a thin layer of wax so they didn’t decompose right then and there in your drink. I’ve noticed that there are several companies now making wood chip (paper) straws without wax calling them “green” or “bio-degradable” straws. Unfortunately they get wet and suck flat in your drink resulting in the use of 3 straws per slushie. I hope these straws are thick enough to overcome that problem. But of course if you triple the amount of cellulose, that’s triple the amount of trees cutdown (and yes you can only get waste products to make them if you cut trees down). Maybe waxed paper straws (and yes they do biodegrade (they just take a little longer) are greener than the new options after all.
F. Tuijn
I remember that half a century ago I used drinking straws made from sedge or a similar plant in Czechoslovakia. The straws were individually packed in paper.