Researchers create the first straws using polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) plastic

plastic straw
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The Polymers and Advanced Materials Group of the Universitat Jaume I in collaboration with the Laboratory of New Materials and Nanotechnology of the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology of the Spanish Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (IATA-CSIC) have developed, together with the company Ocenic Resins, S.L. a plastic formulation suitable for making straws that are 100 percent biodegradable. These are the first straws developed based on a plastic called polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA).

PHAs are naturally generated by some bacteria when subjected to controlled feeding conditions. Therefore, it is a renewable, non-oil and completely natural material. Additionally, these plastics can be obtained by feeding residues to bacteria; their production does not require oil, and they also allow waste to be valued that would otherwise have to be treated (further reducing its CO2 footprint). Since these plastics are naturally synthesized by living beings (such as cellulose present in plants, chitin present in fungi or in insects or proteins), their disintegration in the environment takes place spontaneously, thus being able to serve as to the same that produce them.

Luis Cabedo Mas, researcher in charge of the project, in addition to their environmental advantages, says, "The properties of these materials are excellent for the manufacturing of single-use products and food packaging."

Thus, straws made from this material perfectly resist hot liquids without altering the flavor of the drink (unlike paper straws). As far as industrial viability is concerned, it should be pointed out that this material can be processed using current manufacturing technologies, which makes it technically very attractive for companies in the sector. Proof of this is that the company Ocenic Resins, S.L. is already industrially these straws and, very likely, they will soon be commercially available.

Provided by Asociacion RUVID

Citation: Researchers create the first straws using polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) plastic (2019, November 20) retrieved 25 June 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Home of Islanders, Nets abandoning plastic drinking straws


Feedback to editors