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Loliware Creates Seaweed Pellet Technology to Replace Plastic

May 19, 2022
May 19, 2022
Loliware

It has been estimated by scientists that between 437 million to 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute coastlines across the world. As a result, 99% of seabirds have ingested plastic in their lifetime, and 100,000 marine animals die per year because of plastic pollution. With 500 million plastic straws being used daily by Americans alone, it is clear that alternatives are required. To tackle this issue, manufacturing company Sinclair & Rush has partnered with Loliware, the SEA Technology creator, to develop the Blue Carbon Straw, a leading plastic-free straw made from seaweed. 

Seaweed has been chosen as the core material for the new creation, as it has the capability to capture 5 to 20 times more carbon than land-based materials, as well as having the capacity to store a portion of this carbon at a seafloor-level depth. The innovation combines a blend of seaweeds, minerals, and natural colors, avoiding the harmful effects of commonly used straw ingredients such as corn, paper, canola, and rice. The straw has been created for businesses of all sizes and is the first US production of onshore, seaweed-based product alternatives, limiting plastic in landfills and oceans. The product is also a substitute for sourcing plastics from China, a step toward reducing carbon footprints.

"In a world continually bombarded with bad news, we hope the SEA Technology and its use in our straws demonstrates that a plastic-free future is within reach," says Loliware founder and CEO Sea Briganti. 

The seaweed used is ocean farmed and grown without fertilizers, meaning the straw is made from 100% bio-based FDA approved materials. Loliware’s SEA Technology can be formed into a pellet like those commonly used to produce a range of single-use plastics. These materials can be molded to look and feel like plastics without the damage these plastics would cause, and are designed to disappear either through composting or other natural processes. Loliware’s SEA Technology is universally compatible with existing plastic manufacturing equipment and facilities worldwide. Because of this, Loliware has the capability to partner directly with big industry names and leaders to produce a large number of compostable, ocean-safe products, all at an affordable and competitive price.

"We have been approached by dozens of companies who claimed that they had developed a truly compostable, non-plastic material that could be processed on our existing manufacturing equipment—Loliware was the first company that had a material and a business model that truly seemed viable," says Brad Philip, President and CEO of Sinclair & Rush. "Utilizing our decades of experience in processing a wide variety of thermoplastic materials, we are now using Loliware’s seaweed-derived pellets to produce high-quality, plastic-free straws, and we're excited to partner with Loliware to produce at scale using our existing machinery." 

With plastic alternatives currently being replaced with high-carbon-footprint alternatives such as paper and bio-based plastics, the Blue Carbon Straw, verified plastic free by Oceanic Global's Blue Standard, creates optimism for a net-zero emissions future. The straw will begin a regenerative supply chain while expanding global seaweed farming, which will encourage a higher carbon dioxide removal rate than bioplastics.

"Our firm is dedicated to companies at the nexus of growth, impact, and diversity, and Loliware is all of the above," says Oliver Libby, Managing Partner at H/L Ventures, Loliware’s lead venture capital investor. "Loliware’s plastic-free material can create products that consumers love, while also combatting carbon emissions and ocean pollution: a winning combination that we are honored to support."

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