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By now, I’m sure we’ve all seen (or at least heard of) the viral video of a turtle with a straw stuck in its nose. That was the tipping point; people decided they’d had enough. They decided to ditch plastic straws and pick up a paper straw instead, one that practically falls apart when it gets wet, which is inevitable as a straw.

Well, WinCup decided to address that problem by creating a biodegradable straw. The video featured on their website shows the straw breaking down in 58 days in a controlled marine environment. However, that doesn’t mean we should be throwing our straws into the ocean. These straws are home and industrially compostable, so we recommend that as your first option.

What happens if you don’t have access to compost? We ran into that problem too. Composting facilities in Deschutes County can only compost food scraps and yard waste. That means even if it says it’s compostable on the product, it isn’t compostable in our local facilities. I reached out to phade to find answers. If you have home composting (like backyard compost), the straws can decompose there. If not, phade claims that the straws biodegrade in both aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) environments and there are enough bacteria in landfills for the straws to decompose there too.

Phade straws are made of PHA which is plant-based rather than petroleum-based like other plastics. PHA is derived from canola seeds where the oil is extracted and synthesized. When the straws decompose, they return to earth! PHA doesn’t have any microplastics so you don’t have to worry about that either. If you’ve heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch then you might already know that much of it is made of microplastics that have negative ecological consequences.

Not sure what can be composted or recycled? Check out the Environmental Center’s Rethink Waste Guide for Deschutes County!