Plastic straws have hit the news a lot in recent years due to plastic getting into the ocean and hurting marine life, along with many globally-known businesses deciding to tackle plastic use. We’ve seen a variety of different straws appearing in bars and restaurants over the last few years; paper straws are the most popular at the moment, although there are pasta straws, glass straws, metal straws, and bamboo straws also available. Now, there’s a new type of straw on the scene, the seaweed straws by Loliware, and they’re the perfect replacement for the plastic straw.
America alone uses between 100 million and 500 million plastic straws a day; and, as for the UK, it is estimated that we go through 8.9 billion to 42 billion plastic straws a year. There’s no way of calculating how many straws we all go through but we all know that is a hell of a lot. The thing about single-use plastic is that it never goes away.
“Every piece of plastic ever created still exists,” wrote CEO Chelsea 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.”
We all know the effect of plastic appearing in our oceans, if you haven’t seen the video below you’ve at least heard about it. This Olive Ridley sea turtle went viral on YouTube after marine biologists found a 10-12 cm plastic straw lodged in its nostril, which they managed to remove.
WARNING: The below video contains graphic content & inappropriate language. Watch marine biologists retract a plastic straw from the nostril of a sea turtle:
The problem we’re having with the removal of plastic straws around the world is that the replacements don’t measure up. Paper straws are by-far the cheapest for companies to buy, yet they’re apparently still three times more expensive to produce than plastic straws, and customers aren’t keen on using them as they last up to an hour before going soggy. Other alternatives are lucrative and expensive, apart from the pasta straws which cause health risks for people who have coeliac disease or gluten intolerance. So companies around the world have been trying to find a suitable replacement to single-use plastic straws, and Loliware has come up with seaweed straws – seaweeds are actually anti-allergenic, but it is possible to be allergic to seaweed, although it’s extremely rare.
Loliware is best known for when they appeared on Shark Tank and managed to strike a deal with Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban. Back then, the company had found an alternative to plastic cups, similar to the new seaweed straws, but they had problems in shipping them and the price was expensive in comparison to plastic straws. Now, they’ve turned their heads to straws.
The Lolistraw is an edible hyper-compostable drinking straw, made from seaweed. It lasts for up to 24 hours, so you won’t have the soggy mess that paper straws turn into. They come in a range of colours and varieties; they also look, feel, and act just like a plastic straw. It’s marine-degradable, non-toxic, non-GMO, gluten-free, sugar-free, and so much more.
Designed to disappear, they have a shelf life of 24 months, whilst they brake down at the same rate of food waste which is roughly 60 days. They launched on Kickstarter in January 2018 successfully raising over $49,000, the product is now available to buy on Indiegogo, where they’ve raised over $84,000. They, apparently, started shipping these out on 8 March 2019. If you’re looking for an alternative to plastic straws, you certainly can’t go wrong with these.
Watch Loliware’s Crowd Funding Video For Their Seaweed Straws Here:
Loliware’s seaweed straws are available to buy from Indiegogo; unfortunately, it is for United States residents only, although they plan to announce exciting partnerships in 2019, with their intention to change single-plastic use throughout the world. At the current moment, they’ve partnered with Marriott hotels and Pernod Ricard. Check out the Loliware website for more details.