A biodegradable straw may seem like a small idea and yet it has proven to be very creative already. The straw designs vary from pasta to grass and food waste. The main goal though, is sustainability in a circular economy with a goal of biodegradation and eventually compost. There are several companies involved in this process with different business plans but here we’ll look at the ideal straws for you. Normally straws are made from plastic but this means that it will be thrown away and won’t biodegrade. Meanwhile, it is made from fossil fuels which require us to use produce pollution to make them. The eco-friendly options will get rid of the plastics and fossil fuels while at the same time supporting farmers since we’ll need plenty of crops to support all of the new straws being made. Considering the plastic straw bans which are proliferating worldwide, organic options will keep increasing in popularity.
To be clear on the straws discussed here, these aren’t paper straws or metal ones. They aren’t biodegradable and frankly I’m not interested in them. The paper straws require further deforestation (which we don’t need) while the adhesives aren’t biodegradable, nor the paper itself sometimes, and can possibly be toxic. The metal straws don’t solve the issue at hand because you’d have to wash them over and over. Our society has adjusted to the concept of single-use products which can be disposed of quickly. It’s why you see strong reactions when you try to ban the straws. People feel uncomfortable that their products are being taken away which they depend on and get enraged. Humans have been using straws since the time of the Sumerians over 5,000 years ago and I really doubt they’re going to give up now. Thus, we are left with the issue of preventing environmental damage while simultaneously supporting constant, high-frequency demand for disposable straws.
These tables will summarize everything below for your convenience but if you’re interested in learning more about the specific straws or companies, read below. The first is a list of companies I’ve found a lot of information on and the second table is a list of biodegradable straws on Amazon with less information.
|Straws||Price***||Material* **||Shipping||To Buy||Refund||Ships to|
|Yes Straws||$7-30||Wheat/Cane||15-25 business days||Store||In 30 days||Worldwide|
|Hay! Straws||$7||Wheat stem||NA||Store/Amazon||In 30 days||Worldwide|
|Wisefood||$8-60||Wheat & Apple||NA||Black, Brown||NA||Worldwide|
|Bio-agave||$13.50||Agave||Free 2 day in USA||Store/Amazon||NA||Worldwide|
|Holy City Straw Company||$8||Wheat||Up to 3 days USA||Store||In 30 days||Worldwide|
|Eightysix straws||$7, $45, $50||Sedge grass||NA||Mix, Short, Long||email firstname.lastname@example.org||Worldwide|
|Karmic Seed||$10, 30||Coconut, Wheat||Free 3-5 days in USA||Store||In 30 days||Worldwide|
|Green Stem Straws||$10-28||Wheat||NA||Store/Amazon||NA||Worldwide|
|Our Roots||$6||Sedge grass||NA||Store||NA||NA|
|The Kind Earth||$2.50-3.80||Bamboo, bamboo grass, wheat||NA||Store||NA||India|
|Mister Rye||$9-10||Rye||NA||Store||In 14 days||Australia|
|Ống Hút Cỏ||$15-50||Sedge grass||NA||Store||NA||Vietnam|
|*If you suffer from Celiac disease, have issues with gluten or want to avoid using gluten, ask before use.|
**If you have any allergies, contact the specific company you are buying from to ask if there are any issues before use.
***Prices are approximate due to different currencies and shipping costs.
|Product||Material||# of straws||Cost*||Buy|
|Wiglo All Natural Drinking Straws||Wheat||120||$9.15||Amazon|
|Efiwasi Drinking Straws||Wheat||200||$8.99||Amazon|
|ECOJOY Biodegradable Straws||Grass||119||$11.11||Amazon|
|HapiKay Organic Drinking Straws||Sedge grass||100||$10.98||Amazon|
|BIOSTARK Biodegradable Straws||Sugarcane||50||$6.99||Amazon|
|ECO-Planets Biodegradable Straws||Wheat||100||$6.99||Amazon|
|Biodegradable Drinking Straws||Wheat||100||$4.99||Amazon|
|Bionex Biodegradable Straws||Sugarcane||100||$10.99||Amazon|
|sWHEATie Straws||Wheat Hay||100||$5.50||Amazon|
|*Prices displayed are base costs, shipping costs will vary over time and by region.|
Yes Straws is a Ukranian company which makes straws from wheat or cane. They place a strong focus on reducing plastic usage globally, using agricultural by-products to limit waste and help the farmers and want to popularize eco-friendly policies. The straws are biodegradable and decompose in a few months leaving nothing behind. The cane straws are made from the cane itself but the wheat one is made from wheat straw which is usually discarded after the wheat is harvested. They sell to different companies but sell directly to customers too. They sell both straw types in varying amounts (50, 100, 250) in short or long forms ranging from $7-30 and ship worldwide.
Check here for buying wholesale:
Hay! Straws is a California-based company which makes straws made from wheat stems. The biodegradable straws are gluten-free and cost about $7 for a 100 pack. The straws are manufactured in China and Ukraine under FDA guidelines with independent inspections and sourced from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. The straws are available for wholesale to businesses, shipping is worldwide and refunds are allowed within 30 days. They also sell stirrers, large straws and bamboo cutlery.
A pub is using them:
This hotel and club in Bermuda is using them
Ber News: https://bernews.com/2019/02/princess-introduces-biodegradable-hay-straws/
Wisefood is a German company which uses apple pomace and durum wheat semolina to produce straws. Called the SUPERHALM, it is edible and sustainable since apples are used heavily across the globe. The straws come in black and brown (colored by vegetable charcoal) and have a slight sweet/sour taste. The straws have a shelf life of 2 years but in cold drinks lasts for at least an hour and in hot drinks it lasts 10-25 minutes. When you order you can chose different diameters, lengths and package amounts up to hundreds of straws. They cost ~$8-60 and have worldwide shipping.
bio-agave produces biodegradable straws and cocktail stirrers made from the agave plant. Their main focus is selling large amounts of straws in the hospitality industry and trying to replace the plastic straws so ubiquitous to restaurants or hotels. They are reusable, recyclable, don’t break, FDA approved and USDA BioPreferred. 150 straws cost $13.50 and 150 cocktail stirrers cost $10.50 with free US shipping in two days and worldwide shipping with varying fees.
Holy City Straw Company
Holy City Straw Company is developing biodegradable wheat straws that can be a sustainable replacement for plastic. The straws are verified gluten-free and are also tested for pesticides and heavy metals to ensure the final product isn’t contaminated. You can buy the straws for $8 in a 100 pack, have normal shipping times in the USA within 3 days and allow a 30 day refund. A unique feature is the subscription option which lets you gets new straw shipments every month. They have business packs and work with distributors as well. 5% of the proceeds go to the Charleston Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Unit.
Wheat Straws is a Dutch company which makes straws from wheat (really!). They are fighting against single use plastic straws and developing durable drinking straws to be used in drinks. The straws are biodegradable and gluten-free. The straws ship worldwide, come in 3 sizes and you can buy a regular box of 100 straws for just €5.
Eightysix straws is an American company which produces biodegradable or compostable sedge grass straws which are stable in drinks without falling apart. They offer short, long and mixed packs of their straws to individuals and wholesalers. The mixed pack (30 straws) costs $7, the short straws $45 and the long ones $50 since they come in sets of 500. They’ve also partnered with Lonely Whale to help fight ocean pollution.
Karmic Seed develops multiple products, including straws made from wheat and coconut leaves. Both are biodegradable and made from farming by-products which would normally be thrown away or just wasted. Even worse, these waste products are burned to destroy them which doesn’t fertilize the ground and emits pollution while wasting something which could be used for commerce. The coconut straws have a shelf life of 6 months and are stable in drinks without falling apart. 50 coconut leaf straws and 100 wheat straws cost $10 while 500 of the wheat straws cost $30. They have free US shipping in 3-5 days and a 30 day money-back guarantee.
Green Stem Straws
Green Stem Straws makes wheat straws which are biodegradable. The company’s main goal is to protect the environment and limit the spread of plastic to the ocean. The prices for the straws are $10-28 for packs of 50, 100 or 500.
This Ugandan entrepreneur, Akram Ssemambo, is making biodegradable straws from sedge grass with his company, Our Roots. The specific grass, Luseke Grass, grows year-round and can be harvested after quick growing periods. The straws are reusable up to 25 times but you can also get disposable straws too. They’re already being distributed to different restaurants, cafes, hotels and for public events. After you’re done with them, they’ll biodegrade back into the soil to regrow more crops which we use every day. 1 pack of 25 costs $6 and you can also get stirrers and banana fiber ribbons.
The Kind Earth
The Kind Earth is an Indian company which makes straws from bamboo, bamboo grass and wheat. Their straws are biodegradable, compostable and reusable if washed. They specifically work with local Indian farms to improve their country while committing themselves to being environmentally friendly. You can buy from their store and they’re available to wholesalers or for events but only in India. The range of prices is $2.50-3.80.
An Australian company called Mister Rye is making rye straws to replace single-use plastic straws. Southern Australia is banning plastic straws and they’re hoping that their straws will serve as a replacement in the inevitable void as different restaurants and businesses scramble for replacements. They work with local farmers in Southern Australia to produce their biodegradable straws. They are not edible and they do say the straws are gluten free although they didn’t guarantee there was no cross-contamination. One box of 50 stirrers costs about $9 and 50 of the straws $10 but the prices differ for business purposes. They have a $5 sample pack and $30 stirrer box of 500 stirrers for business use and are preparing to work with wholesalers. For 1,000 straws the cost is $100 and for 1,000 stirrers $50. They have a 14 day refund policy (see instructions) and only ship in Australia as they are interested in securing that market.
They also had a successful crowdfunding.
Ống Hút Cỏ
A Vietnamese company called Ống Hút Cỏ also produces straws from sedge grass which grows along the Mekong. Called co bang, the straws come in fresh green straws and dried straws for your personal preference. The green ones last up to 10 days at 18-20 °C while the dried straws last 6 months at room temperature. The straws should be washed when bought and can be composted after use. The straws only ship in Vietnam and cost about $15-50.
Green Matters: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/wild-grass-straws-vietnam
Biofase is a Mexican company which manufactures biodegradable straws from avocado seeds. The straws don’t bend, are good for cold or hot liquids and are very durable. When placed outside or in the ground it degrades in 240 days which creates a circular economy by putting them back in the soil where they came from. They currently sell wholesale to different companies including: Fiesta Americana, P. F. Chang’s China Bistro and Chili’s Grill & Bar. Biofase also makes bioplastic cutlery to replace plastic spoons, forks and knives.
Bioplastics News: https://bioplasticsnews.com/2018/06/17/bioplastics-straws-advocado/
Green Matters: https://www.greenmatters.com/home/2019/02/08/pNL73eH-Z/avocado-pits-cutlery-straws
Mexico News Daily: https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/biodegradable-straws-from-avocado-seeds/
Tree Hugger: https://www.treehugger.com/biodegradable-cutlery-made-avocado-pits-biofase-4858501
Loliware made the Lolistraw, a food-grade straw made from seaweed which is hyper compostable and, unlike the plastic straws, these will disappear in the sea. Their main mission is to fight the large amount of plastic pollution in the world by replacing it with products which will degrade. Ideally, in the future they’ll expand into other disposable plastics as well such as cups and plates. Currently they don’t sell to customers but do work with businesses and if you are a company you can sign-up here.
They seem to have issues with their crowd funding with plenty of complaints about the products and not receiving them. This could be part of a problem with their business but we’ll have to wait and see how they resolve the problem.
Harvest Straws was a company which made straws from wheat although they are most likely out of business.
This is my article from years ago when I mentioned them.
The Dude Abides – Pasta Straws
Rice straws are very popular In South Korea:
Lupa Osteria has made the switch to pasta:
Other places like to use pasta straws too:
Different restaurants are using various straws to get around plastic straws:
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