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Keep the questions coming

Curious to know more? Take a look below and see if there are any questions that we can help answer for you.

phade® is made from PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), a naturally occuring biopolymer which comes from the fermentation of canola oil.  Because it is plant based and comes from nature, it will naturally be consumed by bacteria.  PHA digesting bacteria are found in nearly all natural environments, thus making phade® straws marine biodegradable and home and industrial compostable.  Ultimately, a phade® straw will biodegrade wherever there is a significant presence of bacteria as the straw becomes an energy and food source for the bacteria.

No. Certifications and studies show that phade® is not harmful to marine life. phade® has passed rigorous testing for eco-toxicity as part of its numerous certifications. Further, PHA has been used in several applications where it is intentionally introduced to marine life (as a carrier for antibiotics) and humans (for medical applications). A University study* conducted in 2019 testing small quantities of PHA introduced to both fish and livestock found that fish actually grew larger, faster and with better overall digestive health than marine life that did not ingest PHA.rnrn*Microbial Poly-3-Hydroxybutyrate (PHB) as a Feed Additive for Fishes and Piglets, May 2019, Biotechnology Journal 14(12):1900132 DOI:10.1002/biot.201900132

phade® has been extensively tested and certified by numerous independent labs and third party certification bodies. All certifications and testing data for phade® can be found on the website page below the Q&A section.

No. Biodegradation means that the straw completely goes away. The phade® straw is entirely consumed and used by bacteria with only carbon dioxide, water and biomass (which represents the growth and reproduction of the bacteria that consumed the straw) remaining. WinCup has also conducted Raman and NMR Spectroscopy testing of the remaining water from phade® biodegradation testing studies, and we have confirmed that no particles of the straw remained after such testing.

Our products are 100% gluten free.  PHA is made from the fermentation of canola oil (feeding canola oil to bacteria).  Naturally, canola oil is gluten free, but the fermentation process (the consumption of canola oil by bacteria) and the storage of the canola as energy reserves within the bacteria also eliminates any connection to the canola.  The bacteria consume the oil; we extract the energy reserves from the bacteria, and that becomes PHA.

We’ve all seen that horrible image of a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose. In many ways that image marked a turning point for awareness and alarm of global plastic pollution. It sparked a sense of outrage that something needed to be done about this problem. It marked a turning point for WinCup as well. We knew we could become part of the solution and embarked on a mission to develop an alternative to traditional plastic straws using emerging biopolymer technology, and the phade® straw is the result. New technologies will play a major role in solving global plastics challenges, and the phade® straw is just the first of many PHA-based solutions to come from WinCup. In the same way a straw became a symbol for plastic pollution with the terrible image of the turtle, we hope the phade® straw will become a symbol for the potential of biopolymers like PHA used in phade® to significantly move away from harmful petro-plastics.

WinCup encourages everyone to reduce the amount of single use plastics they use wherever they possibly can.  However, in many instances, these products are critical for safe consumption of food and beverages, or they are critical tools required for consuming liquids.  To the differently abled community, a straw is not just a convenience, it is a necessity.  Our mission in creating phade® was to leverage innovative technology to create a closed loop product that can be used, disposed of properly, and return to nature as compost for new products to complete the circular cycle.  We started with a straw but this innovation will be expanded to other products. This is a critical element to attack the global plastic pollution crisis.

The proper way to dispose of a phade® straw is through composting.  A phade® straw is home and industrial compostable, so it will completely biodegrade in either environment.  A phade® straw should NEVER be disposed of in a marine environment; however, it was designed to be consumed by bacteria, so in the unfortunate circumstance where a phade® straw might end up in an ocean, it will biodegrade because it will be consumed by the bacteria in the ocean.

The biodegradation of a phade straw is always dependent on the conditions in the specific environment, specifically the presence and amount of bacteria in the environment. Since conditions are always different from one location to another, results will vary. However, we are confident that our straw will biodegrade in a matter of months in conditions where there is the presence of bacteria.

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