BIODIVERSITYENVIRONMENT[WATCH] Help Save Planet Earth with Every Sip from Seaweed Straws

Maureen SantosApril 24, 20194427 min

Are seaweed straws the ultimate savior of the oceans and its inhabitants?

Based on a United Nations report, about 30 million tons of plastic wastes drift into the ocean each year. Marine species eat them to satisfy their hunger, not aware of the risks it could impose on their lives.

Plastics are cheap but marine species pay a huge price

Plastics are cheap materials used for packaging, food utensils and more. Since it is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to manufacture, its production is expected to soar in the next 10 to 15 years. With such a high volume of plastic wastes being generated in the process, it can no longer be contained and will wound up in waterways and sewage that flow into rivers and oceans. These pollutants kill marine life, both big and small.

Plastic straws are small and thin compared to other plastic pollutants in the oceans. It blends with seaweeds and is oftentimes mistaken for food by sea birds and other marine animals. According to UN data, 100,000 marine animals perish every year due to ingestion of or entanglement with plastics.

Straws made of seaweed

Loliware’s brilliant idea of replacing plastic straws with seaweed straws could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of species not only in the oceans but on the whole planet itself. It is a startup company that will fill store shelves with “hyper-compostable” straws that function, feel and look like plastic but are environment-friendly.

In the United States alone, residents use between 170 and 390 million straws on a daily basis. Loliware counteracts the use of single-use plastic straws by creating edible straws made of seaweed. The seaweed straws are developed to dissolve and decompose just like banana peels. When in water, it disintegrates in a few weeks. They are made of 100% food grade materials. Furthermore, these are non-GMO, gluten and sugar-free marine degradable straws that are usable up to 18 hours.

According to the written statement of Loliware CEO, Chelsea Briganti:

“Every piece of plastic ever created still exists. There are five trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans; an estimated ten million tons of plastic is produced every second. Single-use plastics should never be built to last, they should be designed to disappear.”

Seaweed straws’ shelf life

Loliware’s seaweed straws can last up to one year. It decomposes at the same rate as food wastes, which is about 60 days or less. The company aims to fully replace plastic straws that are being used at high-waste locations such as stadiums, beaches, and fast-food restaurants.

In Israel, researchers at Tel Aviv University produced a biodegradable plastic with the use of seaweed polymers. They hope that using straws made of seaweed can mitigate the problem with plastic pollution.

Dr. Alexander Golberg of the Porter School of Environmental Studies noted that bioplastics made from seaweeds are a sustainable alternative. He added that seaweeds are marine organisms which can be grown in the sea without using land and potable water. This makes their process different from the others. Researchers are still on the process of determining how long it will take for the seaweeds to decompose outside marine surroundings.

If there will be mass adoption of using seaweed straws, the world’s environmental issues will be reduced. There will be less plastic pollution and less death of marine species.

Maureen Santos

She lets everyone become aware of what is happening to our beloved planet Earth and its inhabitants. She can take you beyond the space and find out how neighbor planets are doing. Moreover, she would open your eyes to the things what makes the Earth suffer including the living species and allow you to decide what you can do to help save the planet and the future generation.

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