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The two companies jointly developed the first commercially sold straws made of polyhydroxyalkanoate, a material verified as a reliable biodegradable alternative to traditional plastic.

Clare Goldsberry

September 2, 2020

3 Min Read
Phade biodegradable straws

Danimer Scientific and WinCup are the joint winners of the 2020 Innovation in Bioplastics Award presented by the Bioplastics Division of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS). The two companies jointly developed the first commercially sold straws made of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a material verified as a reliable biodegradable alternative to traditional plastic.

WinCup created the Phade straws using Danimer Scientific’s Nodax PHA, which the company claims will completely degrade in any environment without leaving behind microplastics. Consumer demand for eco-friendly plastic products is growing exponentially and the Phade straws are the first plastic drinking straws on the market to meet this demand without losing the feel and quality of plastic. Phade straws and stirrers have unique properties that are not sensitive to temperature and high-heat shipping conditions.

‘We are honored to present the Innovation in Bioplastics Award to Danimer Scientific and WinCup, recognizing their work in continued innovation,” said Patrick Krieger, Director, Sustainability & Materials at PLASTICS. “In 2018, Danimer along with PepsiCo received recognition for their industrially compostable chip bag, which sought to provide a sustainable end-of-life solution for a difficult-to-recycle packaging format. Since then, they have advanced so much with their production and compounding with PHA, resulting in a plastic straw that is marine-biodegradable. This product also speaks to a bigger principle in the plastics industry — innovative problem-solving to create products that consumers want.”

Phade biodegradable straws

Phade straws will completely degrade in any environment without leaving behind microplastics, according to WinCup. Image courtesy WinCup.

Danimer Scientific is a pioneer in creating more sustainable and natural ways to make plastic products that are biodegradable and compostable. Applications for its biopolymers include additives, aqueous coatings, fibers, filaments, films, and injection-molded articles. Based in the United States, the company holds 125 patents in nearly 20 countries for a range of manufacturing processes and biopolymer formulations.

“Innovation is a collaborative process, and this recognition of our work with WinCup highlights the success that is possible when raw material and end-product manufacturers partner on bringing new materials to market,” said Scott Tuten, Chief Marketing Officer at Danimer Scientific. “Our launch of this first-of-its-kind backyard-compostable and marine-biodegradable straw is only the beginning. We look forward to continuing our partnership with WinCup to provide consumers with reliable and sustainable options for single-use products.”

WinCup is a manufacturer of disposable foodservice to-go ware based in the United States. Brad Laporte, Chief Operating Officer at WinCup, stated: “Consumer demand continues to grow for innovative products that minimize environmental impacts while maintaining superior performance, and we needed an innovative material to meet that demand. Partnering with Danimer Scientific to develop PHA-based straws and stirrers is a big step to changing the future in single-use plastics.”

Michael Winters, President of WinCup Foodservice, added, “Customer and market reactions to this innovative and relevant new product launch have been extremely positive and we expect very high demand for Phade in the coming months. We are especially honored to have our work recognized by the Plastics Industry Association.”

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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