Engineers develop edible straws to combat plastic pollution

[USA] Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker entered a food design competition in 2010 with an industrial design project to combat pollution. They said that 25 billion plastic cups were thrown away every year in American landfills, and their solution to the problem was a biodegradable and edible cup.

After launching their LOLIWARE product in 2015 the group is back raising funds for their LOLISTRAW edible straws. The team says that 500 million plastic straws are thrown away every day in the United States, and want to make a dent in that number.

The straws are made from a base seaweed material. Chelsea and Leigh Ann say that seaweed is nutrient dense, grows fast, and removes CO2. They believe that the CO2 absorption and the fact that seaweed can be grown in water instead of using land gives the product a benefit over corn based bioplastics. The idea for avoiding landfill is that the plastic free material will either be turned back into plant fuel through composting, into machine fuel through anaerobic digestion, or into human fuel through human digestion.

 

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