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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
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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

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.

19 comments

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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.

Photo of Siyu Ding
Team

awesome idea

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS 

As Refinement Phase quickly comes to a close in LESS THAN 8 HOURS, I want to remind you that the following must be submitted by tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

1. Submit the Refinement Questions Form online that was sent again via email yesterday evening--we have not yet received this from you. These questions are mandatory for Top Ideas consideration, so this should be your first priority in the final stretch.

2. A secondary priority, which is optional, is to update your Refinement Phase post. I see you've already updated your concept on the platform. But please share any additional information, photos, and documentation of your progress throughout this Phase!

Looking forward to reviewing and celebrating the amazing work you've achieved this Refinement Phase!

Photo of LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS
Team

Hi Lauren,

Thank you--we are on it! -Chelsea & Leigh Ann

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Loliware!

There are 7 days left in the refinement phase.

If there is key information in the comments on your idea submission, I recommend that you move them to the main body of your idea submission before the cut-off time.

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo of Karman Studios
Team

Hi Loliware,
Greetings from Karman Studios.
Kate Rushton suggested us to have a look at your work, as one of our shortlisted ideas is very similar to that of yours.
Must say we really like the idea and the progress you have made in this direction.
We are basically a design consultancy in India and exploring various sustainability directions to reduce the plastic waste nuisance in our country.
The tomato ketchup sachet alternative solutions we came up with, was basically to do away with the conventional plastic sachets and look for a whole new sustainable ketchup experience. Though we mentioned only ketchup in the idea phase, we do want to explore similar idea for other consumables and esp. typically Indian food taste enhancers similar to tomato ketchup.
As you have already made a good amount of research, developed expertise and made workable solutions in this direction, can we have a collaborative stand for this idea?
If we proceed in a collaborative way, we can introduce you to the big Indian market (as our country has a great consumer population) and develop not only tomato ketchup but other product solutions. We can offer a great social angle to the business model too by maybe proposing idea of unprivileged women in our Indian society to be employed in the manufacturing of this range of products and get government grants for the same as well, as presently much government drive is happening to make India cleaner and free of plastic waste.
Be it our bubble wrapper idea or the consumable stick idea we can introduce you to various Indian flavor for food enhancers and maybe create solutions for them and test it in Indian market too. If success is there, it is a huge potential market to cater and it can be a very lucrative business proposition too.
Do please let us know your views for this and if positive we can discuss more about how to go about it and how collaboratively we can contribute to make this venture workable.
Thanks,
KarmanStudios

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Loliware!

It is great to see you in the challenge.

I noticed that you have prototyped Lolliware. Are you able to share any feedback you have received or an indication of the numbers of people who have tried Lolliware?

Of the specific use cases - https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/d7cfea9d-b5a2-4ce3-a8de-3e518a3c4b67.pdf - which one would be the easiest to implement using Lolliware or would make the most natural progression from the cups?

Do you have any existing barriers to developing your idea that you’d like to share to help the OpenIDEO community understand where they might join the conversation and provide feedback?

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

You might want to include some links to news articles in your post e.g.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/edible-cups-loliware-waste-biodegradable_us_57618798e4b09c926cfdcf8b

Photo of LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS
Team

Hi Kate,

Great questions!

LOLIWARE has replaced 134,000 plastic cups to date! LOLIWARE has been used at Etsy Headquarters, The Texas State Fair, Four Seasons Silicon Valley, Four Seasons Orlando and at parties and events nationwide. The two inter-related areas that we are working on with regard to feedback and product development on LOLIWARE 1.0 are #1 "bite-ability" by making the experience as wonderful and easy to eat as possible and #2 "designing for disappearance" by encouraging people to eat the entire cup so that after it's used, it doesn't exist anymore. Our process to address this is by adding nutritional benefits like vitamins etc., making the product thinner so that there is less to eat, and by improving the texture of the formula so that it is more "biteable".

We see our product as addressing the Take-Away scenario #3 as a sustainable material that can be applied to many plastic take away items including cups, straws, and lids. Our current cup application targets the 33B (!!!) disposable cups that hit landfills annually and our innovation pipeline includes straws and lids. We have prototyped edible straws and they are nothing short of amazing though they require more R&D. :) Working with the accelerator would be an amazing opportunity for LOLIWARE to develop this into a market-ready, game-changing product.

Our question for you: How do you see LOLIWARE's contribution best meeting openIDEO's objectives for this challenge? As an Edible Bioplastic material applied to cups, straws, lids, etc -or- focusing in on a product-based contribution like an Edible Bioplastic Straw? One consideration is that our material/5oz cup is in the "operating concept" phase while the straw product application is in the "prototyping" phase

We have a few barriers to development that we would love feedback from the OpenIDEO community on:

1. Our current packaging is a molded eucalyptus paper shell, with a home-compostable cellulose wrapping around the paper as well as each cup. Our goal is to continue to dematerialize our packaging, or even package our product in our LOLIWARE material one day. Our ultimate question is always: "How do we package a hyper-sustainable, plastic-free product safely and effectively?" We'd love to hear everyone's feedback!

2. We're also facing the challenge of educating consumers in our category in three different ways.
>> Introducing people to the concept of eating their cup/straw/package vs. throwing everything away is an interesting challenge.
>> Educating consumers on the "spectrum of compostability" and the advantages of Edible Bioplastic vs. other bioplastics including corn-based ones that are made from GMO crops and do not compost in a natural environment.
>> Introducing people to the experience of eating LOLIWARE. While LOLIWARE's form factor is plastic-cup like, it is more flexible because it is edible/biteable so we need to make sure people understand what to expect and how to use it. We love this marketing challenge, but it is a challenge nonetheless. :P

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

You might want to connect with the team behind Delta and EVOWARE’s edible sachets and food wraps directly made from seaweed as main material for question 1. Also Irina Ankudinova and Karman Studios are investigating packaging-free solutions as well.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi LOLIWARE!

Welcome to refinement!

It is great to see the straw prototypes.

Can you tell me more about the packaging they come in? What is the price point?

Have you had any feedback on people who are using these straws compared to competing straws?

You might want to look at the videos for Inlid - another idea in refinement - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/circular-design/ideas/icecap

What are the nutritional benefits of the straws?

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by tagging me here (@ followed by my name) or send me an email - krushton@ideo.com

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo of Karly Daisy
Team

Love the idea of adding nutritional value and other benefits to the cups! Keep it up!

Photo of Sarah Pidgeon
Team

These cups are the best, and I am SUPER excited for the straws too!!!

Photo of LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS
Team

Thanks Sarah!! We can't wait to show more of what's up and coming at LOLIWARE.

Photo of Benjamin
Team

Love it!!
(From a fellow MCC)

Photo of LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS
Team

Thank you!! Let us know if LOLIWARE can help Nohbo at all (and good luck on the upcoming launch!).

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Loliware,

Excited to see you joining this challenge. We noticed your post is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have it be included in the challenge. You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your post by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top.

We're looking forward to seeing your contribution in this challenge.

Photo of LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS
Team

Hi OpenIDEO,

The team is putting the finishing touches on our post and we hope to get it up and running as soon as possible! We can't wait to contribute :)

- LOLIWARE

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

I look forward to seeing your contribution. Thank you for all your comments on the platform.