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10/29/2019 | 2 MINUTE READ

Danimer Scientific and UrthPact Have Partnered in the Manufacture of Fully Biodegradable Straws

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UrthPact expands line of compostable single-use straws with marine degradable options using Danimer’s Nodax PHA.

A partnership between bioplastic manufacturer Danimer Scientific, Bainbridge, Ga, and UrthPact LLC, Leominster, Mass., a contract manufacturer of single-use compostable products for leading brands has led to the manufacture of drinking straws that are fully biodegradable in environments ranging from waste treatment facilities to home-compost piles, waterways and our oceans.

Single-use straws certified for industrial composting are available now for purchase from UrthPact, with straws certified for home composting and marine degradation to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2020. UrthPact is currently evaluating interested distributors and brand owners to partner with for the sale of these biodegradable straws. The straws are manufactured using Danimer Scientific’s signature biopolymer, Nodax PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate). Nodax PHA begins with fermentation where canola oil is consumed by soil bacteria and converted into PHA, which is then processed into a powder form. The powder is then combined with other biopolymers to manufacture biodegradable plastic resins. All of Danimer Scientific’s biopolymers, including its Nodax PHA, are FDA approved for food contact.

The plant-based material was verified as an effective biodegradable alternative to traditional petrochemical plastics in a 2018 study led by University of Georgia (UGA) researchers and members of the UGA New Materials Institute. Also last year, Danimer purchased and revitalized an 88,000-sq.ft. former Alltech algae building in Winchester, Kentucky. The company is using the fermentation plant to produce its proprietary Nodax PHA material and start-up this November is on track.

Said Stephen Croskrey, Danimer Scientific’s CEO, “Reducing the environmental impacts of single-use plastics is a critical issue that will get worse the longer it goes unaddressed, so it has been encouraging to see industry leaders swiftly collaborate on solutions. Since developing a prototype for the first fully biodegradable plastic straw last year, our team has worked diligently with UrthPact to make it commercially available. We look forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with UrthPact in bringing more eco-friendly plastic packaging to manufacturers in the years to come.”

UrthPact produces straws in its Safe Quality Foods (SQF) certified plants alongside a wide range of compostable single-use plastic products, including coffee pods, valves, cutlery, bottles, caps and more. Said UrthPact’s CEO Paul Boudreau, “Cities and businesses are exploring outright bans of single-use plastic straws. This may not be a viable option for every business segment within the global market. One ideal solution is a single-use straw that offers the durability and reliability of traditional plastic without the environmental impact that it can leave upon disposal. With the support of Danimer Scientific, we’re making that ideal a reality.”