The term "biodegradable" has been used over the past few years, to describe plastics or packaging that could potentially be metabolized by microorganisms in nature, with complete breakdown to CO2/Methane, water and biomass. However, there is significant confusion and controversy surrounding biodegradable plastics since many suppliers have used the term to loosely describe their material/packaging without specifying the conditions under which the material would degrade in nature. For instance, some plastics (like PLA) will only degrade under industrial composting conditions, while some others (like PHA) can break down under a wider range of conditions and environments (industrial, backyard, marine). Given this widespread confusion and the misuse of the "biodegradable" term, many global government and industry organizations have issued guidelines to restrict or eliminate the unqualified use of biodegradable as a descriptor of plastics or packaging. These include the European Commission guidelines (European Plastics Strategy) and the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides in the US.
In line with such guidelines, Ubuntoo's recommends that companies providing biodegradable materials, products or packaging:
1.Avoid unqualified use of the term "biodegradable" to describe their products
2.Any claim of biodegradability should be accompanied by a description of specific conditions and environments under which the material or product will undergo degradation in nature
3.It is strongly recommended that companies provide globally accepted certifications or testing for various biodegradability claims (such as the BPA certification for industrial composting)
Further in line with the position articulated by the European Commission as well as major CPG companies, Ubuntoo recommends that "biodegradable" plastics should not be considered a solution for littering (or worse a license to litter). Appropriate collection and end-of-life solutions (such as industrial composting or home composting) need to be put into place to avoid biodegradable plastics ending up as litter in the environment.
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HAY! Straws are natural drinking straws made from wheat stems, 100% home compostable and gluten-free.
Plastic straws are used once and then tossed in the garbage. Sadly, single-use plastic straws end up in our landfills and oceans, where they harm marine life and release toxic pollutants. We’re now even able to trace microplastics in our food sources.
Hay! Straws's wheat stems are 100% biodegradable, which means they won’t linger in landfills, polluting our land or oceans. They’re similar in feel and function to the plastic straws we’ve all become so accustomed to, but without the toxins and the damaging footprint on our earth. Unlike paper straws, HAY! Straws are made from a renewable source, and best of all, they don’t get soggy!
Their straws are the byproduct of wheat production. Wheat is typically grown for its grain, which gets made into flour and other food products. Once the wheat plant reaches maturity and turns golden yellow, the grain is harvested off. The wheat stems get cut and made into things like hay for animal feed and, in our case, straws—hence the name HAY! Straws!
They can be tossed right in the compost bin after use. Unlike plastic straws, HAY! Straws will break down naturally, returning to the circle of life.