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LOLISTRAW | BY LOLIWARE

Imagine a disposable straw that you can actually eat instead of throwing away. LOLISTRAW leaves nothing behind.

Photo of LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS
19 16

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LOLIWARE BIODEGR(EDIBLE)S is the world’s first Edible Bioplastic Company dedicated to replacing plastic with edible materials. This a new category of sustainable materials are both biodegradable and edible or BIODEGR(EDIBLE). The initial application of this material is the "Cup of the Future"- A 5oz Edible Drinking Cup that is "Designed to Disappear". 

For their next product launch, the team seeks to replace 500M plastic straws with the world’s first edible, compostable straw: LOLISTRAW.

THE STRAW OF THE FUTURE LEAVES NOTHING BEHIND

LOLIWARE has created a new generation of straw: LOLISTRAW. In order to remove plastic straw waste entirely from the waste stream, the team created a home compostable and edible straw which is categorized as an organic.

LOLIWARE believes products should be Designed to Disappear if they are to exist at all.


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Idea Title

LOLISTRAW | BY LOLIWARE

Company / Organization Name

LOLIWARE

Website

http://www.LOLIWARE.com

Where are you / your team located?

New York City

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

It is LOLIWARE’s mission to remove plastic straw waste entirely from the waste stream by creating a new generation of straw: LOLISTRAW-- A home compostable and edible straw which is categorized as an “organic”. The plastic straw system is flawed and in desperate need of sustainable innovations. LOLISTRAW is designed to disappear in one of two distinct ways --either by eating it or by tossing it into the organics bin to be composted along with food scraps into nutrient-dense humus.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

LOLIWARE applies to Use case #3: straws & take-away lids

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

LOLISTRAW will run a pilot in NYC & is ideal for use in geographies where organics collection is mandated (CA/VT/etc), but the “eat your straw” notion could potentially function as a stop gap measure in areas where infrastructure is still developing.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

After further product development with user testing/validation, we will work with our process engineer to design automated production and source a manufacturing partner to launch in NYC where composting infrastructure is in place to support required organics sorting for businesses. In the 2nd phase of scaling we will focus on other US states and cities with composting mandates. Our NYC brand partners with national reach will be the first to expand across the US along w/ food service distribution

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Operating Concept / Startup: You have fulfilled the stages of testing, undertaken a full scale roll-out, and are currently operating this concept/idea as a business.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

LOLIWARE would love the opportunity to work with a mentor at the New Plastics Economy Accelerator to scale the impact of our Edible Bioplastics. Our goal is to ultimately reach a broader audience by reducing the price per unit and therefore reducing plastic on a massive scale. Our dream is to become the Edible "Solo".

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

LOLIWARE was founded by industrial designers, Leigh Ann Tucker & Chelsea Briganti, who after learning of the 33B plastic cups that enter the landfill annually, sought to invent a solution to the global plastic crisis. In 2014, they formed LOLIWARE & set out to create the future of sustainability. The idea quickly grew into a high-demand business attracting global attention from the media, major brands, and consumers in 60 countries across 6 continents. LOLIWARE is women-owned & women-made.

Tell us about your work experience

LOLIWARE was founded by award-winning industrial designers and innovation mavericks, Leigh Ann Tucker & Chelsea Briganti who met while studying at Parsons School of Design in 2007.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

LOLIWARE is an LLC.

Please describe, in detail, your business model and how you intend to test and iterate this model.

To iterate our business model, we will continue to test and review product w/ all stakeholders including end users, customers, facilities mgmt, haulers, composters, etc. With an MVP ready, we plan to run a 2 month “micro pilot” at an NYC cafe + NYC juice bar to evaluate customer reaction, user experience, operational efficiencies, and to test our business model assumptions. We'll then apply our learnings from the pilot to make adjustments as needed.

Please explain how your innovation will work within, potentially improve, and provide benefit to the plastics system.

LOLIWARE’s mission is to remove plastic straw waste entirely from the waste stream by creating a new generation of straw: LOLISTRAW-- A home compostable & edible straw that's categorized as an “organic”. Typically, PET straws are tossed into recycling bins & are rarely if ever recycled, or Bioplastic/PLA straws are thrown into the organics stream & therefore cause contamination. LOLISTRAW is designed to disappear either by eating it or by tossing it into the organics bin to be composted.

Please describe, in depth, how your solution will reduce the overall environmental footprint of packaging.

With global adoption of LOLISTRAW, we can reduce the use of petroleum, see a reduction in “pollutants in the oceans from the 8M tons of ocean plastic pollution yearly”, & “divert 17 million tons of landfilled waste from straws yearly.” The three end of life scenarios for LOLISTRAW enable us to close the loop dynamically with this notion of disappearing disposables because our traws are converted to human fuel (food), plant fuel (compost), or machine fuel (biogas).

Please outline how your design, material, and delivery choices will influence price, and how you intend to address the price increase that may result from this solution.

We’ve run costing of our base materials & we are cost-competitive with PLA, but more expensive than paper straws. The X factor that remains is the cost of automation & manufacturing and if we add any flavor/color/nutritionals to the material. LOLIWARE achieves TWO things simultaneously. #1, reduce your operational costs and how you manage waste in food service because LOLIWARE can go directly into the food waste bin and #2, we enable you to reach your sustainability goals.

Please explain how your solution will impact user behavior, and what design considerations you've included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions with your Idea. 

LOLISTRAW offers users the same convenience of on-the-go drinks with a single-use straw, and does not ask the end user to carry reusable straws with them. They will still be grabbing a straw from the condiments station at their local cafe. LOLISTRAW offers users a fun-forward experience. We are not simply demanding users to change their behavior and use something different for the environment. If LOLISTRAW is not eaten, it intuitively belongs in the compost bin because it is marketed as edible.

Please describe how you intend to use the prize funding, if selected as a Top Idea. Be specific.

Our objective for use of the prize funding and time in the accelerator is to continue product development to create an MVP, design automated production, secure a manufacturing partner, set up production, and launch w/ select brand partners in NYC.

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Photo of Carolina Mndz
Team

This is a great idea. I am from Boston and I have seen many local cafes and bar adopt reusable straws to add to their social responsibility campaign. This idea of one time use will be perfect to reduce waste and to make sure it is new and clean.

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