Compostable Straws by World Centric
World Centric Compostable Straws 50 Count
World Centric Compostable Straws are biodegradable and compostable straws made from PLA, a biodegradable resin made from corn starch. PLA resin is certified for biodegradability and compostability, under ASTM D6400-99 the North American standard for "compostable plastics". The compostable straws come in packs of 100 (10,000 count) and are either individually wrapped or unwrapped. Instead of using petroleum based plastics which create toxicity and environmental pollution, you can now use our compostable alternatives. These products are BPI (Biodegradables Product Institute) Certified. Please note that composting is required for biodegradation. These compostable straws will completely biodegrade within 90-180 days in a commercial composting facility, but can take up to a year to biodegrade in a home composting system.
What are biodegradable and compostable products?
Biodegradable and compostable products are made from organic, natural materials like corn, reed grass and bagasse (sugar cane). These products come from annually renewable resources and are sustainably manufactured, non-toxic while in use and decompose back into the soil.
What is the difference between compostable and biodegradable?
Compostable Plastic is plastic which is "capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site as part of an available program, such that the plastic is not visually distinguishable and breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable materials (e.g. cellulose). and leaves no toxic residue." In order for a plastic to be called compostable, three (3) criteria must be met:
- Biodegrade - break down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass at the same rate as cellulose (paper).
- Disintegrate - the material is indistinguishable in the compost, that it is not visible and needs to be screened out.
- No Eco-toxicity - the biodegradation does not produce any toxic material and the compost can support plant growth.
Biodegradable Plastic is plastic which will degrade from naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi etc. over a period of time. Note, that there is no requirement for leaving "no toxic residue", and as well as no requirement for the time it needs to take to biodegrade.
What’s wrong with plastic and Styrofoam?
Plastic and Styrofoam are non-biodegradable, petroleum derived, stay in the environment for hundred to thousands of years and leach toxic substances into the groundwater. Approximately 40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in the USA alone, together with billions of Styrofoam and plastic cups, plates etc. Biodegradable products can, therefore, reduce landfill mass by as much as 30%.
What’s wrong with paper plates?
Most paper disposable products are made from virgin wood fiber, which depletes natural forests and the eco-services that forests provide. In comparison, bagasse is a byproduct of sugar cane production, a readily renewable resource and widely grown all over the world.
What’s the difference between Corn/PLA products and Bagasse products?
PLA products are made from corn starch, while bagasse products are made from residual sugar cane fiber (a waste product of sugar production). PLA products work better with cold materials, while bagasse products work with both hot and cold materials
What is composting?
Composting is breaking down organic material by bacteria, yeasts and fungi into healthy, fertile soil.
What’s the difference between composting and recycling?
Composting involves the decomposition of organic material by bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Recycling is re-processing used materials to create new items. Recycling works by collecting used "waste," sorting the materials, breaking it down into basic components and then recreating new goods. Biodegradable products are compostable, while most plastics are recyclable. Paper can be either composted or recycled.
Is composting a feasible alternative to landfills?
Composting biodegradable plastic, along with other biodegradable waste, generates much-needed carbon-rich soil (humus) instead of filling up valuable land with waste. Compost amended soil can have beneficial effects by increasing water & nutrient retention in soil, reducing chemical inputs, (toxins, pesticides, etc.) and suppressing plant diseases. Many communities have large-scale centralized collection of yard waste and compostable material. (Please check with your community about options in your area or ask your waste disposal company.) Through composting, the problem of waste disposal could become the solution for low-input, sustainable agriculture.
How is PLA different from recyclable plastic?
The first and most important difference between traditional plastics and PLA (polylactic acid) is the material they are made from. Plastics are made from petroleum based chemicals & additives that are known pollutants and toxins while PLA is derived from corn-based resins (a non toxic and annually renewable resource). Secondly is the way in which pla and traditional plastics break down. Traditional plastics can be recycled or thrown in a landfill to slowly breakdown over hundreds of years. PLA products can't be recycled but will biodegrade 60% of their mass within 180 days in a composting system. It is unknown how long biocompostable products such as PLA take to break down if put in a traditional landfill system.
How do PLA products handle hot and cold foods?
The PLA (corn derived) cutlery is heat resistant to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Using the 120 degrees F cutlery with hotter foods will make it lose its structure and shape. PLA is not microwave, but it is freezer safe. The PLA products are especially great for cold products.
What if I am allergic to corn?
While PLA is corn-based, the extreme heat used in processing this corn into the feedstock destroys immunologically reactive profilin. Thus, PLA should not cause an allergic reaction.
What is Bagasse?
Bagasse is sugar cane fiber pulp, left after the juice has been extracted from the sugar cane stalk. Bagasse is normally seen as a waste product and incinerated, thus creating air pollution. Making tableware out of residual sugar cane fiber actually decreases air pollution and adds value to the material.
What are the benefits of using bagasse?
Bagasse is 100% compostable and it biodegrades in 30-60 days. Through the use of this product, you are contributing to a sustainable planet. Bagasse is a tree-free renewable resource and provides a superior alternative to petroleum derived products. It will biodegrade and will not stay in the environment for hundreds of years.
How well do the bagasse products handle heat?
The Bagasse (sugarcane fiber) tableware will handle hot food and beverages up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the tableware does “sweat” with hot foods and some condensation will form at the bottom of the tableware with hot foods. Bagasse is both microwave and freezer safe.
About World Centric
World Centric was founded in 2004 with a mission to reduce economic injustice and environmental degradation through education, community networks, and sustainable enterprises. Over the years, what they do has changed, but their mission still remains the same.
World Centric was founded in 2004 to raise awareness of large scale humanitarian and environmental issues and to promote sustainable alternatives to every day consumption choices. In 2004, World Centric hosted award winning documentaries and speakers on environmental, social, human rights, peace issues, offered courses on sustainability, simple living and globalization and worked on a Conscious Living guide. Since there was no funding and as well in order to be a self-sustaining organization, without having to ask for donations, grants or fund raise, World Centric started to sell Fair Trade Products and compostable products in beginning of 2005. By summer of 2006, majority of World Centric's time and resources were devoted to managing the organically growing sales of Fair Trade and compostable products.
World Centric as of March 2009, converted from a taxable non-profit to to for-profit as the sales of the compostable products had become the main activity. World Centric now considers itself a for-profit social enterprise, where in addition to sustainable compostable products, they want to work towards making World Centric a model of how sustainable enterprises should be run. In 2009, for example they offset all their carbon emissions, and gave 25% of profits before taxes to grass root social and environmental organizations, and hope to move towards giving 100% of our profits. Their overall mission, vision and values stay the same since World Centric's founding - to make a difference and create a more just and sustainable world.
World Centric products are made from annually renewable resources like corn, sugarcane, and wheat straw fiber. Sugar cane and wheat straw fiber are also discarded by-products of the agriculture industry and we are using this discarded fiber to make sustainable alternatives to plastics and styrofoam.
World Centric Goals
- To replace styrofoam and plastics with compostable products made from sustainable materials
- To be a model of how sustainable enterprises and businesses should function
- To use their profits to:
- Raise awareness of global environmental and social issues
- Promote awareness of sustainable alternatives to everyday consumption choices
- Support grass root organizations working on environmental and social issues
- Over time move to giving 100% of their profits
Environmental Sustainability Efforts:
- Zero Carbon Footprint. World Centric offset their total carbon emissions by working with two grassroots international environmental and social organizations to plant 175,000 trees in Cameroon and India.
- Give 25% of net profits. World Centric gave nearly $40,000 in 2009 to worthy charities that contribute toward a more environmentally sustainable and economically viable way of life in India, Kenya and North America.
- Discounting products to schools (25%) and nonprofits (15%) and have done that since they started.
- Provide Compostable lunch trays at cost to schools to replace Styrofoam trays with a total donation of over $126,000 in 2009.
- Regularly audit outsourced factories under Fair Labor Organization guidelines, to ensure fair wages and working conditions for workers.
- Power their office using renewable energy (a combination of wind and solar) and strive to be a zero-waste office.
- Proivde $250 per month reimbursement for employees to take public transportation.
- Have hosted Environmental and social justice speakers and film series since 2004 and regularly host other community events.
World Centric Values
- Integrity - Being honest and transparent with our suppliers, customers and employees.
- Authenticity - Doing what we say and what we believe in and not saying one thing, but doing something else.
- Passion - Bringing our energy, our commitment and enthusiasm to what we do and believe in.
- Diversity - Respect for divergent perspectives, differing cultures and biodiversity.
- Respect for life - Value our environment and all life - water, air, plants, trees, insects, animals, and humans
- Social and economic justice - Encourage fair treatment, fair wages, and equitable sharing of limited resources.