Designed to disappear, manufacturing begins this month to create the healthy and refreshing straw you can eat.
Maldives, May 2018: It’s widely claimed there are enough plastic straws to wrap around the Earth’s circumference 2.5 times each day. Because they are so small, most straws are not recycled and usually end up in landfills and waterways, where they linger indefinitely, harming wildlife, and marring the natural beauty.
Made to disappear and designed to have the same functionality expected of a plastic straw, Lolistraw will last for up to 8 hrs in a beverage and will have a shelf life of up to 24 months. When you’re done sipping your drink, you can eat the straw or compost it.
The founders of LOLIWARE and the straw’s designers, Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker, have coined the term “Hyper-compostable” to convey that all of their products, including Lolistraw, will break down at the same rate as food waste in compost or in the natural environment, such as a waterway.
The Maldives is surrounded 99% by ocean, straddles the equator and is home to some of the world’s most precious coral reefs and marine life. Considerations towards protecting the environment are a key influencer in all business decisions for Carpe Diem Maldives Pvt. Ltd.
“In 10 years of operating our dive safari cruises across The Maldives, we’re always looking for ways to reduce our waste footprint. For example, we’ve never had one-time use bottles on our boats, each guest receives a durable plastic water bottle that they take home with them,” explains Agnes van Linden, Assistant Managing Director of Carpe Diem Maldives Pvt. Ltd.
“When we were looking last year for new sustainable solutions to bring to our upcoming resort, I came across the Lolistraw project on Kickstarter. The management team and I carefully researched all the information and we all knew it was a winner. We had to seize the day and the opportunity, like our company name, while at the same time supporting this great innovation get off the ground.”
Carpe Diem Maldives is just one of two main Lolistraw Launch Partners from the Kickstarter project, with close to 1000 other smaller donation supporters.
“Our world needs a radically new approach to our daily consumption of single-use plastics which too often go to landfill or pollute oceans. Our solutions transform disposables into ‘’plant fuel’ through composting, or ‘human fuel’ through consumption,” observed LOLIWARE Co-Founder Leigh Ann Tucker.
Made from a new seaweed-based material, the initial texture is like plastic, but can be made with a flavour or with added nutrients. On Carpe Diem Cruises and at the upcoming resort, the chosen Lime flavour will add to the experience when sipping a cocktail, a simple glass of water or a refreshing coconut juice.
“It transforms while you’re using it to where you can actually bite into it afterward and eat it,” Leigh Ann Tucker noted. “But when you first pick it up and put it into your drink, it’s going to feel like a plastic straw.”
For those who don’t want to eat the straw, it’s also compostable and marinedegradable. Unlike another material often used for compostable utensils–PLA, which is often made from corn starch–Loliware breaks down easily, so it can be composted in a home system rather than requiring industrial composting equipment. If the seaweed-based straw happens to end up in the ocean, it will dissolve, which is excellent news for the pristine waters of The Maldives, and any unassuming hungry marine life that might swimming by.
“We’re not telling the consumer, hey, you can’t have your straw. We’re providing them a solution to the plastic straw crisis while also giving them a fun experience on top of that. It’s not about the consumer sacrificing anymore, it’s about the consumer having fun and being sustainable at the same time. There are some bioplastics that just break down into smaller pieces, whereas Lolistraw is designed to literally disappear,” says Chelsea Briganti.
The lime-flavoured Lolistraws will available in August on all three Carpe Diem Cruises offering 7 and 10 day dive safaris while staying on the luxury liveaboard vessels, as well as at the 115-pool villa Carpe Diem Beach Resort & Spa when it opens in September this year.