WinCup (Stone Mountain, GA, USA), recently announced that the company has sold 1 billion phade® straws, the world’s first marine biodegradable, home and industrial compostable drinking straw.
That is enough to reach halfway to the moon if lined up end to end. With customers’ help, the company now aspires to “reach the moon” and beyond as it works to replace billions of traditional plastic straws.
“JFK famously said that NASA accepted the mission to reach the moon not because it was easy but because it was hard”, said Michael Winters, WinCup President and Chief Revenue Officer. “The same can be said for our commitment to develop phade as the most sustainable alternative to traditional plastic straws. The planet is facing a serious crisis with plastic pollution and consumers around the world expect manufactures to provide meaningful sustainable solutions. Phade is the solution that can help to minimize plastic pollution in the straw category”.
Made with PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), a biopolymer (in this case) derived from the fermentation of canola oil, phade straws maintain the feel and user experience of traditional plastic straws but will safely biodegrade and return to nature quickly. Phade has become popular among consumers as well as major restaurant and hospitality brands, professional sports venues, airports and other retail outlets nationwide.
The development of phade involved a rigorous testing and certification process. TÜV AUSTRIA, a globally recognized independent third-party certifying body, certified phade as both industrial and home compostable in a matter of months. TÜV also certified the material from which the phade straw is made as marine biodegradable. Additionally, the Biodegradable Products Institute Inc. (BPI) has certified phade as industrial compostable.
“Unlike with petroleum-based straws – which take hundreds of years to biodegrade – phade straws generally biodegrade in a matter of months in environments where bacteria are present and can use PHA as a food source”, explained Brad Laporte, WinCup’s Chief Executive Officer. “That means to date a billion phade straws have been manufactured and have either safely returned to nature or will in a matter of months rather than polluting the environment for centuries. Solutions like phade have emerged as a vital weapon the fight against plastic pollution, and we at WinCup have only just begun”.
WinCup has won numerous awards for the development of phade, including the 2020 Innovation in Biopolymer Award from the Plastics Industry Association, and the 2021 Innovation in Foodservice Award for Sustainability Solutions from the National Restaurant Association. phade was also recognized as a finalist or honourable mention in 4 out of 5 categories in Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards.
WinCup’s focus on sustainable solutions was bolstered in September 2020 when Los Angeles-based global private investment firm Atar Capital acquired the company. Among Atar’s core principles is a commitment to sustainability and investing in companies that work toward protecting the environment. AT