Swedish company, Stora Enso, and Sulapac, based in Finland, launched a demo for sustainable drinking straws at Slush 2018, which took place December 4-5, in Helsinki, Finland. The demo, which targets production on an industrial scale, is designed to replace traditional plastic straws with renewable ones. The straws are based on Sulapac’s biocomposite material – made of wood and natural binders – made to be recycled via industrial composting and biodegrade in marine environments.
According to Sulapac, “If a Sulapac straw ends up in the ocean, it doesn’t harm the ecosystem. Naturally occurring micro-organisms can digest and transform it into CO2, H2O and biomass, so that even whales keep smiling.”
“This is an important step for Stora Enso and showcases our long-term commitment to gradually replacing fossil-based materials with renewable solutions,” said Annica Bresky, EVP, Consumer Board division.
Stora Enso signed a joint development agreement with Sulapac in May 2018 to license its materials and technology. The development of the demo straw is a joint collaboration between Stora Enso and Sulapac.
Sulapac’s material works in existing extrusion lines and the target is to have the straws commercially available in the second quarter of 2019.
“Today, we proudly announce that we are launching a demo for a recyclable, microplastic-free and marine biodegradable straw. This is the world’s most sustainable straw that can be produced on an industrial scale and we have jointly developed it with Stora Enso. Billions of plastic straws are produced and used every week. This straw has the potential to be a true game changer,” concluded Sulapac’s founder and CEO Suvi Haimi.
Photo: Sulapac's straws courtesy of Sulapac (Marjo Noukka)