November 2, 2021

WinCup Applauds Fort Myers Beach’s Vote to Strengthen Straw Ban to Allow for Marine Biodegradable Solutions

Pivotal decision sets the bar for coastal communities nationwide seeking sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic straws by updating ordinance to encourage innovations like PHA bioplastics

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (November 2, 2021) – WinCup, Inc. applauds the community of Fort Myers Beach following the Town Council’s landmark decision to update its plastic straw ban ordinance to allow for marine biodegradable straw alternatives to help curb plastic pollution in the area. The new ordinance strengthens the city’s previous policy, which banned the use of any type of straw other than paper straws. New marine biodegradable technologies that have emerged since passage of the initial policy in 2017, including WinCup’s polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) phade® straw, made with Nodax®-based resins from Danimer Scientific, are now able to be distributed in the community and achieve the city’s goal of protecting the area’s beaches and waterways.

“We commend Fort Myers Beach for its leadership and demonstrating the community’s commitment to meaningfully address plastic pollution by strengthening its straw ban to allow for groundbreaking marine biodegradable solutions like phade® PHA straws,” said WinCup CEO Brad Laporte. “Straw bans are being enacted across the country that, while well meaning, ultimately limit the positive impacts that emerging technologies designed to replace traditional plastic can bring. Innovative bioplastics must be a part of the movement away from petroleum-based plastics. Our hope is that coastal communities across the country will follow Fort Myers Beach’s lead by ensuring their straw ban policies are as strong as possible by allowing ecologically superior alternatives to petro plastic, like PHA. We’re thrilled that phade® straws will now be able to play a role in Fort Myers Beach’s fight against plastic pollution, and that consumers there are able to experience a better-performing, ecologically- superior sustainable straw.”

The update to the Fort Myers Beach straw ban comes as communities nationwide look for sustainable solutions to combat plastic pollution. With the Town Council’s vote, Fort Myers Beach provides a model for other cities to modernize straw bans that prohibit non-paper, sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic. Coastal communities would especially benefit from policies similar to Fort Myers Beach’s, which allows for only marine biodegradable straws.

Specifically, the new ordinance only allows for the distribution of “marine biodegradable straws,” defined as any product and product packaging that will completely break down, degrade, and return to nature decomposing into elements found in the marine environment within one year. Straws permitted by the ordinance must adhere to the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guide, which requires competent and reliable scientific evidence demonstrating marine biodegradability.  

“When you advertise a product as marine biodegradable, you send a message to the world that we’re serious about our environment here on Fort Myers Beach and we’re serious about our water,” Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy said during the Town Council’s first reading of the amended language on October 18. “As far as the restaurants, the bars and anyone else, they can advertise themselves that they’re distributing only marine biodegradable straws because we care about our water and our environment. That translates to all the people who are visiting us.”

“phade® is the world’s first marine biodegradable, home and industrial compostable drinking straw, and is an ideal solution for businesses and consumers in Fort Myers Beach,” said Michael Winters WinCup President and Chief Revenue Officer.

Made with Danimer Scientific’s Nodax®, a biodegradable resin derived from the fermentation of canola oil, phade® sustainable drinking straws maintain the feel and user experience of traditional plastic equivalents but will safely, and quickly, return to nature. The development of phade® involved a rigorous testing and certification process. TÜV AUSTRIA, a globally recognized independent third-party certifying body, certified phade® as both industrial and home compostable in a matter of months. TÜV also certified Nodax® as industrial and home compostable, as well as soil, freshwater and marine biodegradable. Additionally, the Biodegradable Products Institute Inc. (BPI) has certified phade® as industrial compostable.

phade® straws are meant to be composted after use and never intended to be discarded in the ocean or littered. However, phade® will biodegrade in any environment where bacteria are present, including in the unfortunate event that they are found in the ocean. Recently, WinCup released a time-lapse video and an accompanying report showing the rapid biodegradation of its phade® straw in a controlled marine environment.  The video and report tracked phade’s® biodegradation process in salt water, showing complete biodegradation of phade® in just 58 days.

WinCup’s focus on sustainable solutions was bolstered in September 2020 when Los Angeles-based global private investment firm Atar Capital acquired the company. Among Atar’s core principles is a commitment to sustainability and investing in companies that work toward protecting the environment.

About WinCup, Inc.

WinCup, Inc. is headquartered in Stone Mountain, Georgia. WinCup is a leading manufacturer of traditional and sustainable disposable cups, bowls, containers, lids, and straws. The company's eight manufacturing locations are committed to high-quality products and superior customer service. To learn more, please visit www.wincup.com and www.phadeproducts.com.

Wincup

Orders placed in California, Washington and Maryland will receive phade products packaged as home and industrial compostable in compliance with applicable laws in those states; information provided about this item does not constitute an offer to sell product labelled or packaged as marine biodegradable in California, Washington or Maryland.