Innovation That Matters

Seaweed Straws | Photo source Loliware

Plastic-free, seaweed-based straws


The biodegradable straws start to soften after 18 hours of use and can be eaten by marine life

Spotted: US-based Loliware has created a waste-free alternative to traditional plastic or paper straws. The plant-based straws look and feel like plastic but start to decompose 18 hours after use.

Loliware’s “straw of the future” differs from other plastic straw alternatives because it mimics the strengths of plastic. For instance, unlike paper straws, Loliware’s straw does not get soggy. It also does not use any wood or paper products, which makes it more environmentally friendly.

The star ingredient is seaweed, a plant that naturally regenerates. The seaweed base means that, unlike other straws, it won’t harm marine life if it ends up in the ocean and can even be eaten by fish.

Loliware says the straw starts to soften after 18 hours of use. It is designed to “disappear” when composted or thrown away. If it is thrown away, it will completely decompose in a matter of weeks, the company says.

Seaweed-based straws are not Loliware’s first innovation to replace plastic. The company first created an edible cup. While the straw is technically edible, Loliware has said it is not designed as a snack. Some major companies have already agreed to use the straws, which are scheduled to be commercially available in 2020.



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