A backyard compostable plastic straw from Danimer Scientific and WinCup has won the 2020 Innovation in Bioplastics Award from the Plastics Industry Association.
The straw, made from polyhydroxyalkanoate, is compostable in a backyard setting and biodegrades in a marine environment without creating microplastics, according to an Aug. 20 announcement from the Washington-based plastics association.
It's manufactured by Stone Mountain, Ga.-based WinCup using Danimer's Nodax PHA material. Made under the Phade brand, it's the first commercially sold straw using PHA and is the first such product that has the same "feel and quality" of a traditional plastic straw, the association said.
"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," said Brad Laporte, chief operating officer at WinCup. He called the PHA material a "big step to changing the future in single-use plastics."
Danimer Scientific said the two companies are looking at other uses for PHA.
"Our launch of this first-of-its-kind backyard compostable and marine-biodegradable straw is only the beginning," said Scott Tuten, chief marketing officer at Bainbridge, Ga.-based Danimer Scientific. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with WinCup to provide consumers with reliable and sustainable options for single-use products."
The association said it wanted to recognize the innovation in Danimer's PHA since the company was recognized in 2018 for developing a snack bag that was compostable in an industrial setting.
"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," said Patrick Krieger, director of sustainability and materials at the association. "Since then, they have advanced so much with their production and compounding with PHA, resulting in a plastic straw that is marine-biodegradable."
The award is part of the association's Bioplastics Week, an online and social media effort from Aug. 17-21 to increase awareness of bioplastics.