Stora Enso and Sulapac are launching a renewable and biodegradable straw to help combat the global problem of plastic waste.
The first customers include Finnair’s lounges in Helsinki, replacing their plastic and paper straws, food delivery platform Wolt, the alcoholic beverage brand company Altia, Hotel St. George, and vegan café Kippo, among others. The partnership argues that these organisations represent different business sectors but have one common interest: to be at the forefront of sustainability. For end-consumers, the straws will be available in January via Biofutura.com, an online store specialising in compostable tableware and packaging, and online retailer Verkkokauppa.com.
“There’s clearly a large demand for our product, which both fulfills the sustainability criteria and has superior usability. Like all Sulapac materials, the straw is 100% microplastic-free. It is designed to mimic nature; if the straw accidentally ends up in the ocean, it behaves like a birch leaf and does not harm the ecosystem,” says Sulapac CEO Suvi Haimi.
The straws are based on Sulapac’s patent-pending material innovation, and its main components are renewable materials such as wood and plant-based binders. Sulapac defines the material as microplastic-free, meaning that it is designed to be fully biodegradable in different environments. The partnership also argues that the product complies with existing waste systems and is designed to be recycled via industrial composting.
“Billions of plastic straws are produced and used every week, creating harmful waste that often ends up in the sea. This renewable and biodegradable material can replace fossil-based materials and help combat plastic waste. Our cooperation with Sulapac allows us to explore new types of innovative and scalable materials and widen our offering of renewable solutions,“ says Marcus Dehlin, Head of Business Alliances, Stora Enso.
In the first phase, the straws will be available in Europe and a global roll-out will follow. The straws are produced with machinery originally designed to produce plastic straws.